IMAGE: Ferrari wreckage
Hanz Laetz  /  AP file
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy inspects the wreckage of a rare Ferrari Enzo that crashed on the Pacific Coast Highway on Feb. 21 in Malibu, Calif. The red Ferrari, estimated to be worth $1.5 million, was going 162 mph when the driver lost control and struck a power pole, investigators said.
updated 11/3/2006 3:52:13 PM ET 2006-11-03T20:52:13

A judge declared a mistrial Friday in the fraud and grand theft trial of a Swedish businessman who gained worldwide notoriety when he wrecked a classic Ferrari sports car in a spectacular predawn crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in February.

Judge Patricia Schnegg declared the mistrial and dismissed the jury minutes after jurors told her they were deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting Bo Stefan Eriksson.

The jurors, who had deliberated just a little more than a day, announced shortly after 11 a.m. that deliberations had broken down, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Eriksson, 44, was charged with two counts each of grand theft and fraudulent concealment with intent to defraud. Prosecutors said he stopped making payments on and tried to hide two luxury sports cars he had borrowed millions of dollars to lease.

Los Angeles County District Attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said the office would retry Eriksson.

Eriksson had previously pleaded no contest to a drunk driving charge in connection with the Feb. 21 crash that split in two a rare Ferrari Enzo valued at $1.5 million. He still faces trial on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm — a .357 Magnum handgun that authorities said they found when they searched his $6 million Bel Air home in March.

IMAGE: Bo Stefan Eriksson
Ric Francis  /  AP
Bo Stefan Eriksson in the Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday.
Eriksson was not charged with stealing the red Enzo he destroyed but of taking two other classic sports cars that prosecutors said he acquired in England through a series of sham transactions. After shipping the cars, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and a black Ferrari Enzo, to the U.S. last year, authorities said Eriksson stopped making payments on the vehicles and disappeared.

The defense acknowledged during the trial that Eriksson quit making payments on the cars late last year. But defense attorney Jim Parkman said he did so only after his company went broke, not because he intended to steal the cars. He had been an executive with now-defunct Gizmondo, a European video game company.

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