Prosecutors OK 2nd trial for David

Herald staff

Snohomish County prosecutors Tuesday said they will try for a second time to convict Victor David, who is accused of abusing his wife for years on a filthy sailboat while the state paid him to be her caretaker.

Prosecuting Attorney Jim Krider said his office made the decision after consulting with trial deputies following a jury’s inability to arrive at a decision last week.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne declared a mistrial.

"Based on those conversations, Mr. Krider feels there is a reasonable likelihood of a more positive result" in a second trial, said a statement issued by the prosecutor. "There will be no further comment at this time."

After three weeks of testimony, jurors last week said they were deadlocked at 7-5. Seven voted for acquittal and five voted to convict David.

Prosecutors alleged David subjected his wife, Linda David, to beatings that left her blind and brain-damaged. At the same time, he was collecting $500 a month from the state as her caregiver.

Several jurors said the evidence did not convince them David was responsible for his wife’s injuries, at least during the period covered under the statute of limitations. Some cited inconsistent and ambiguous testimony from Linda David herself.

Others said the total body of evidence convinced them that David was guilty.

The jurors were unanimous on a companion charge and convicted David, 60, of being an alien in possession of a firearm. He is a Canadian citizen.

Wynne set the new trial date and sentencing on the firearm conviction for Dec. 11. However, attorneys said it’s unrealistic that the second trial could get under way that early.

The first jury was picked after a lengthy process to make sure prospective jurors had not been influenced by pretrial publicity. A second jury may be even more difficult to find now, lawyers said last week.

In July, the state agreed to pay $8.8 million to Linda David to resolve claims that the state had failed to protect her. The money will ensure that she can afford the care she will need for the rest of her life.

The case drew national attention and prompted big changes in the way state social workers oversee vulnerable adults.

Linda David was found in 1997 on a 30-foot sailboat moored near Everett. She was jammed into the bow compartment and covered with dog vomit and feces from the seven German shepherds that also lived aboard.

Doctors said she was brain-damaged to the point of immobility, and she had numerous untreated fractures of her arms, legs and fingers. Her face remains disfigured by scar tissue, and she uses a wheelchair.

Linda David now lives in a Snohomish County nursing home.

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