ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A western New York jury that’s trying to decide whether four people are guilty of murder has also been eager to figure out another question: What does “importune” mean?
Jurors in Rochester made that query this week during deliberations in the trial of Laura Rideout, her two adult sons and her boyfriend. They’re charged with killing her estranged husband, Craig Rideout, and attempting to hide his identity by disfiguring his face.
The word question came up because state law says a person can be held liable for a crime that he “solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids.”
After some research, the judge drew on a 1999 appeals court ruling to tell jurors Friday that importune means “to beg, urge, or solicit persistently or troublesomely.”
Deliberations resume Monday.