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Jury can’t agree on Leonard verdict

Jurors were unable to decide whether former Eagle Harbor liveaboard Ralph Leonard was legally responsible for firing a shotgun blast that grazed a Bainbridge Police officer 1998.

Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Karlynn Haberly dismissed the jury Wednesday after it deadlocked on the major counts against Leonard, which included a count of attempted murder and one of assault.

Leonard was convicted on three lesser firearms violations, and of intimidating a public official. Those convictions would carry maximum prison sentences of 36 to 48 months, according to Jon Walker, deputy county prosecutor.

The court set March 11 as the date for a second trial on the more serious counts, but Walker said no decision has yet been made on whether to re-try the 65-year-old Leonard.

Walker said jurors deadlocked 10-2 and 9-3 on the different charges, with the majority favoring conviction. Leonard remains in custody, he said.

Leonard has been on a legal merry-go-round since 1998, when he allegedly fired at a Bainbridge Police officer who was trying to board his boat. Police had received complaints that Leonard was harassing fellow liveaboards.

Leonard was twice found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial because of chronic alcoholism and schizophrenia, and was twice committed to Western State.

After treatment and confinement, the Leonard was released by the hospital, which determined he could live on his own without posing a danger to himself or others. He was re-arrested after both releases.

Following the most recent arrest, Leonard did not claim incompetence to stand trial. Instead, he pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

According to Walker, Leonard’s attorney did not contest the prosecution’s factual accounts of the crime.

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