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JURY `RE-ENACTED’ BOBBITT’S NIGHTMARE

SHARE JURY `RE-ENACTED’ BOBBITT’S NIGHTMARE

Jurors in the Lorena Bobbitt trial re-enacted the night she cut off her husband's penis before finding her not guilty by reason of insanity, jurors said Saturday.

"We walked through it and tried to put ourselves in her shoes," said a female juror, who like three others contacted by The Associated Press spoke on condition of anonymity. "We had to know what she felt at each step along the way."A woman on the jury played Lorena Bobbitt's role at one point, and they used a blackboard to diagram the events of June 23, when Lorena Bobbitt said her husband came home late from a night of drinking and raped her.

Jurors started with the premise that the rape occurred, a male juror said. "We didn't believe John Bobbitt," he said.

Bobbitt was acquitted in November of marital sexual assault. He took the stand three times in his estranged wife's trial and denied he ever abused or raped her. They are seeking a divorce.

Jurors deliberated more than seven hours before delivering the verdict Friday. Lorena Bobbitt will undergo a mental evaluation at a state hospital.

Lorena Bobbitt's defense lawyers argued that repeated physical and sexual abuse left her psychologically devastated. The rape pushed her over the edge into temporary insanity, her lawyers said.

Lorena Bobbitt pleaded not guilty to malicious wounding, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Circuit Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. also told the jury it could consider the lesser charge of unlawful wounding if jurors felt Lorena Bobbitt did not act with malice.

Jurors said they understood that finding Lorena Bobbitt not guilty but insane would allow a judge to order her to get a mental exam.

The first jury poll, about three hours into deliberations, was 7-5 in favor of insanity, a female juror said. The minority voted to convict Lorena Bobbitt of unlawful wounding, which carries up to five years in jail, she said.

Jurors would not say if the panel's seven women were lined up against the five men.

After the first vote, jurors said they agreed to walk through the sequence of events Lorena Bobbitt described.

If Lorena Bobbitt suffered temporary insanity, jurors had to establish when she became insane, another juror said. "We re-enacted from the time after the rape," the juror said.

Jurors traced Lorena Bobbitt's path from the bed to the kitchen, where she said she went to calm herself. Lorena Bobbitt said she stood in the pale light of the open refrigerator door and experienced a rush of mental pictures of abuse and terror from her four-year marriage.

"We went around the room and asked people what they thought she was feeling" as she picked up the knife, the juror said.

Then, jurors traced Lorena Bobbitt's return to the bedroom and re-enacted what she said happened there.

As discussions continued Friday afternoon, four more jurors agreed on the insanity verdict, jurors said. One holdout remained.

"There was just the one at that point when we sent the question to the judge," a male juror said.

The question asked for clarification of jury instructions on temporary insanity. When the judge responded that jurors must stay within the guidelines he set, "That was it. We had our vote," the man said.

All four jurors said the decision was difficult and the long trial was draining.

One woman said she sympathized with Lorena Bobbitt but was reluctant to acquit her because of "clear evidence" that Lorena Bobbitt committed a crime.

A fourth juror's only comment: "It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Most of us cried or wanted to."