New gun charge trial set after jury deadlocks

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An accused North Side gang member will go on trial again in December on a gun charge after a federal jury on Monday could not reach a decision on a verdict.

Akeem Caldwell, 27, identified by federal agents and police as a member of the Northview Heights Crips, went on trial last week before U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose.

He is charged with possession of a gun by a convicted felon, a crime that could put him in prison for five years and possibly longer, considering his history.

He pleaded guilty in 2006 to the same charge and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. He was released in June 2011.

Pittsburgh police on patrol in Northview Heights in January say they caught him with a gun after a brief confrontation on the street.

The U.S. attorney's Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force had targeted Mr. Caldwell as part of an investigation of the Crips that resulted in a 2010 indictment and 26 guilty pleas in U.S. District Court, but Mr. Caldwell was not charged in that case.

The jury told Judge Ambrose yesterday that it was deadlocked after repeated attempts to reach a verdict. The foreman said in a note that some jurors were refusing to deliberate. The judge declared a hung jury and set a new trial date for Dec. 4.

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