Jury Deadlocks On Some Charges In Carrier Case
Updated On: Apr 16 2012 07:03:02 AM CDT
The jury in the trial of Joshua Carrier said Monday that it was deadlocked on some of the child sex abuse charges in the case.
Jurors asked the judge what they were supposed to do if they had reached a verdict on some counts and not others.
Judge David Gilbert told the jury to continue deliberations, but made it clear that it wasn't necessary for any juror to sacrifice his or her beliefs in order to reach a verdict.
Carrier's attorney, Chris Decker, told KRDO Newschannel 13 that he can't speculate about what this could mean for his client.
Jurors must be unanimous in a decision to convict or acquit, but it is possible a jury could agree on some counts and hang on others. If that happens, it would be up to prosecutors to decide whether to hold a new trial for any counts the jury could not agree on.
Carrier is facing more than 200 counts, including over 40 counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. He could spend life in prison, even if he's convicted on only some of the charges.
Some anticipated at least a partial verdict Monday afternoon, and several families of alleged victims, the two prosecutors on the case and attorneys representing families in their civil lawsuits gathered in front of the courtroom.
The jury went home for the day without any other questions or any verdict.
There was a sign of trouble in deliberations Friday when the jury asked Judge Gilbert, "What do we do if a juror says, 'I quit?'"
Decker asked the judge to declare a mistrial, but Gilbert denied the request, and told jurors to keep working.
Both Decker and prosecutor Andy Bryant agreed that it's not uncommon for juries to have a difficult time reaching a verdict.
They told KRDO Newschannel 13 that there are times when a juror can be replaced by an alternate during deliberations, but there has to be a significant reason, for example, a death in a juror's family.
Decker pointed out that the law does not require jurors to reach a verdict.
"While we would like a verdict, it's not required by law," said Decker. "Do they have to return a verdict? The answer is no."
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