Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Shortly before 3 p.m. today the jury in the Father Andy sex abuse trial sent a note to the judge saying they were at an impasse and could not reconcile their differences.
When the jury assembled in front of Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, she asked if there was any confusion in their minds about the law that she could address.
"I do not believe so," the jury foreman said.
The judge asked if the jury were to continue deliberating was there any chance that they could reach a unanimous verdict?
"I would not believe so," the foreman said.
The judge instructed the jury to try again.
She told them they had only been deliberating for a total of 14 hours over three days. But she cautioned the jurors not to do anything that would "do violence to their individual judgement" or force them to surrender their "honest convictions."
So the jury filed out of the courtroom. Within the hour, the jury sent another note to the judge that said they had reached "the end of our discussion for today," the judge said.
It was 4 o'clock; court usually runs until 4:30 but the judge relented and sent the jury home early for the day.
If the jury deadlocks it would be the second time. Last March, the jury in Father Andy's first trial deadlocked after four and a half days. He's accused of sexually abusing a former 10-year-old altar boy back in 1997.
Tomorrow, the jury is scheduled to resume deliberations starting at 9:30 a.m.
Father Andrew McCormick spent the afternoon praying with his supporters, and sitting quietly in the hallway outside Courtroom 1102 at the Criminal Justice Center.
The alleged victim wasn't there for a second straight day but his mother was. So was his father and grandfather.
Since there's a gag order in the case nobody can say anything.
The vigil on both sides resumes tomorrow.