Deliberations continue in molestation case

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 15, 2016

By Melanie Ruberti

LaGRANGE — The fate of a man accused of molesting and raping two young girls this morning rested in the hands of 12 Troup County Superior Court jurors.

Defense attorney Julianne Lynn rested her case early Thursday morning without calling her client Celestino “Hector” Acuño-Martinez, 41, to the stand or any witnesses to testify on his behalf.

Troup County Senior Assistant District Attorney Lynda Caldwell and Lynn both gave their closing arguments before Judge Travis Sakrison turned the case over to the jury.

Martinez is charged four counts of child molestation, two counts of rape, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

After only three hours of deliberations, the jury sent a note to Sakrison stating they were deadlocked.

Sakrison told them to go back over the evidence and find a verdict.

An hour and a half later, about 5:30 p.m., the jury sent the judge another note which indicated the the group was still deadlocked.

Sakrison said he felt the jurors still needed more time to deliberate over the case.

The trial was expected to resume Friday morning.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.