justice was served!!!

Posted in the Newton Forum


Hillsborough, NC

#1 Aug 15, 2011
By: Sarah Newell williamson
Published: August 15, 2011
» 0 Comments | Post a Comment

The trial of a former high school teacher accused of stalking a student resulted in a hung jury early Monday afternoon.

John Donadio, 60, was charged in May 2009 with one count of stalking Josh Pruitt, who was then 17 and a junior at Fred T. Foard High where Donadio was an occupational teacher. Pruitt said Donadio had called and texted him repeatedly, given him unwanted gifts, clothes, jewelry and boxers, and visited Pruitt at work almost daily in April and May.

On Friday, the jury began deliberations just before 3 p.m., and continued for 90 minutes without a verdict. They came back at 10 a.m. Monday, sending a note to the judge at 11 a.m.

“We are not able to come to a unanimous verdict at this time and do not believe we will be able to do so,” the note read. The foreperson told Superior Court Judge Robert Sumner they were split 11-1.

Sumner read them the Allen Charge, which reminds the jury they have a duty to come to a unanimous verdict if possible. They returned to the jury room at about 11:15 a.m. and deliberated for 75 minutes.

When the jury was brought back into the courtroom at 12:30 p.m., Sumner asked the foreperson if she thought further deliberations would result in a unanimous verdict.

She said no, they had been deadlocked.

Sumner said it will be a “mistrial for inability to reach a unanimous verdict.”

When he announced that, Donadio didn’t display any emotion, nor did any of the attorneys who tried the case.

Afterward, Donadio’s attorney, Andrew Jennings, said he was still pleased with the results.

“We have a smile on our face,” he said.“We’re happy today.”

Jennings did not present evidence in the case, instead cross-examining the witnesses the state presented in the trial — Pruitt, his parents, employees of Catawba County Schools and employees where Pruitt works.

“They had to decide whether John was a criminal and it didn’t rise to that level,” Jennings said of the jury’s decision.

Donadio had many supporters in the courtroom awaiting the verdict, including a few former students and their families. One was Robert Dellinger, who was 16 when he had Donadio as his occupational teacher at Foard High School.

“That man’s been nothing but nice to me. I’m here for him 110 percent like he was here for me,” Dellinger, now 18, said.

Like Pruitt, Dellinger said Donadio also gave him clothing.

“My clothes would be raggedy or torn and he’d give me shirts,” Dellinger said.“One time I had my shorts torn and he gave me brand new shorts.”

He said he was relieved Donadio was not convicted.

NOW!!!! Shawn, stop spreading lies about this man. JUSTICE WAS SERVED soo.. DROP IT!

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