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Judge Dismisses Case Against Britney Spears
Posted on Tue Oct 21, 2008 02:35 PM PDT

Britney Spears BritneyDismissed200.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - Britney Spears will not face a retrial for allegedly driving without a California driver's license after a jury failed to reach a verdict.

The jury's deadlock could not be broken, even after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Steele allowed both sides to make additional closing arguments Tuesday morning. The jury's final vote was 10-2 in favor of acquittal.

The jury struggled with the case since resuming deliberations Monday, telling a judge they couldn't reach an unanimous decision after five votes going back to Friday. Steele thanked jurors for their time and dismissed them.

The deliberations lasted longer than the case itself, in which only three witnesses testified.

Jurors sent several questions to the judge before declaring themselves deadlocked.

One sought to clarify the charges against Spears, and whether she should be considered guilty if she possessed a valid Louisiana license, as her attorney has said she did.

The other: "Why was she stopped in the first place?" In fact, there was no traffic stop that precipitated the case; she was cited for hit-and-run and driving without a valid California license later, after video of the accident surfaced.

The defense argued that Spears didn't meet the state's residency requirements, and that her Louisiana license was all she needed to drive legally.

Defense and prosecution attorneys agreed that Spears was behind the wheel in California in August 2007. That kept jurors from hearing any mention of the hit-and-run — or any narrative elements to explain why she faced a criminal charge.

Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Michael Amerian initially put up only one witness and entered one piece of evidence during the trial, showing that Spears did not have a valid California license more than a week after the accident.

The final witness was an X17 Photographer who, along with other shooters, tails Spears constantly and said she spends about 80 percent of her time in Los Angeles. Flanagan countered, however, that none of those things required Spears to get a California license.


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