Jury Deadlocks Again in Police Tech Cocaine Case


For the second time, a federal jury could not make up its mind about whether a former San Francisco police lab tech stole cocaine from the crime lab. Jurors deadlocked on the third day of deliberations in the case of 62-year-old Deborah madden.

She was accused in 2009 of pilfering small amounts of cocaine for personal use from evidence packets she was testing for criminal cases.

Jurors told U.S. District Judge Susan Illston Thursday they were deadlocked and Illston declared a mistrial for the second time.

Madden’s first trial ended in a hung jury in October after jurors deliberated two days.

Madden spent 29 years as a police lab tech but resigned after some evidence sample she tested were found to be too light to account for regular testing.

Madden told investigators in 2010 she had taken home small amounts of cocaine that had fallen out of evidence packets. The amounts were roughly equal to the amount of an individual sugar package.

She told police she used cocaine to fight the effects of her alcohol problem.

After discovery of the missing cocaine, San Francisco prosecutors were forced to dismiss hundreds of drug cases and shut the drug lab.

It is now up to prosecutors to decide whether to attempt a third trial or make a deal with Madden.

Case: U.S. v. Madden, No. CR11-879SI


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