June 29, 2017

Cosby trial's fourth day of deliberations could prove critical

19 June 2017, 04:30 | Winston Chapman

Cosby trial's fourth day of deliberations could prove critical

Here's what happens now that Bill Cosby's jury is deadlocked

The Pennsylvania jury at Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial announced they were deadlocked Thursday, as tensions soared on day four of deliberations at one of America's biggest celebrity trials in years.

After almost 40 hours of deliberations in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial, Judge Steven O'Neill sent jurors home at 9 p.m.

The jury's first question pertained to Cosby's admission that he gave Constand three blue pills.

Bill Cosby arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse during his sexual assault trial, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Norristown, Pa.

While exasperating, the jury's deadlock and nail-biting, four-day deliberations in Bill Cosby's trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault offered a glimmer of hope that socially, we may be moving the needle on sexual assault.

If convicted, Cosby, 79, could spend the rest of his life in prison: He has been charged with three second-degree felony counts, and each carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

By Wednesday night, jurors asked the judge several questions seeking clarification and re-reading of excerpts of Cosby's own words about his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand at his nearby home.

If a mistrial is declared, prosecutors must decide if there is enough evidence to seek a new trial or decide to drop the charges.

O'Neill said the alternates are permitted to use their laptops while they wait for the verdict.

Cosby's lawyer said he and Constand were lovers sharing a consensual moment of intimacy.

Constand accused the comedian of drugging her with three blue pills before proceeding to fondle her breasts, put his hands into her trousers, and place her hand onto his erect penis during a 2004 encounter, according to an affidavit.

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His accuser testified that Cosby manipulating her into taking the pills, which left her "frozen" and unable to stop him from touching her breasts and genitals.

More than 60 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault since the allegation re-entered the spotlight in 2014, thanks to a viral stand-up bit by comedian Hannibal Buress.

If, after further deliberations, they still can not reach consensus, a hung jury will cause the judge to declare a mistrial.

The inconclusive end to the high-profile trial leaves open the possibility that Cosby will be tried again.

Constand won a national title with the University of Arizona and played in a pro league in Europe before landing a job with Temple University women's basketball team.

"While you should not hesitate to re-examine your own views and change your opinion if you are convinced that your opinion is erroneous, do not feel compelled to surrender your honest belief as to the weight or effect of the evidence exclusively because of the opinion of your fellow jurors, or for the mere goal of returning a verdict", O'Neill said.

The case stems from accusations from Andrea Constand who's case was the only one filed before the statue of limitations had expired. They have been deliberating since Monday.

She said, "I'm grateful that they are not rushing to a verdict". But O'Neill denied that request as premature.

The jury told a judge on their fourth day of deliberations Thursday that it's deadlocked. He has said it was Benadryl, a cold and allergy medicine.

"My gut feeling is that they have at least one or two jurors hung", said Cohen, who past year represented former-Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a battery case.

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