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Trial Notes - Closing Arguments - abc27 WHTM

Trial Notes - Closing Arguments

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Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County courthouse for closing arguments in his child sexual abuse trial. Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County courthouse for closing arguments in his child sexual abuse trial.
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WHTM) -

9:05 a.m. – Court is in session. Judge John Cleland begins jury instructions. He said per Pennsylvania law they are not allowed to take notes during that time. He said for deliberations he will be give them some aids: a list, by child, with each alleged crime committed against them; a worksheet of each crime with a list of questions jurors must answer before they can find the defendant guilty or not guilty; verdict slips be given by count number.

Cleland told the jury: Your verdict must arise from your independent reading of the facts; you must deliberate fairly impartially and honorably. "We all rely on your integrity and your good judgment," he said. The defendant is presumed to be innocent, the fact that he has been arrested is not any evidence against him. You must determine that "he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt…it's not the defendants burden to prove that he is not guilty." He said the defendant is not required to prove anything in his own defense. "If the Commonwealth fails to meet its burden, you must find him not guilty." Of the prosecution: "It does not have the burden to prove its case….to a mathematical certainty." A reasonable doubt is defined as a doubt that would cause a reasonably careful and sensible person to hesitate before acting on a matter of importance. "A reasonable doubt is a real doubt…it's not an imagined doubt or a doubt based on speculation." To find the defendant guilty you must be convinced of his guilt to the same degree that you would be convinced about a matter in your own life…If it meets that burden the defendant is no longer presumed innocent…if the Commonwealth does not meet this burden you must find him not guilty. He said the jury will likely ask themselves: "When does otherwise innocent conduct become criminal?" It is not necessarily a crime for an adult to touch a child...it is not a crime for a downhill ski racing coach to take hold of a child's leg…or for a wrestling coach to demonstrate a wrestling move or for a teacher to put a comforting arm around a crying child…but it is obviously a crime for a man to have oral sex with a boy or for a man to have a boy perform oral sex on him…it is not necessarily a crime for a man to take a shower with a boy to shampoo his hair or to engage in back rubbing or back cracking… if you believe he did those things you don't have to find the defendant guilty. You may believe the defendant exercised poor judgment but poor judgment does not amount to criminality. An adult's behavior is not a crime simply because their behavior makes the child uncomfortable. What makes this kind of contact a crime is the intent with which it was done. Distinguish an act of family affection from an act of lust…but what appears to be otherwise innocent contact when performed with innocent contact…to satisfy the adult's sexual desires at the expense of the child. The test of criminality is not what the child felt about what happened to him…because it is not inconceivable that a child could be made to feel uncomfortable by an innocent act. The issue is not what the child felt the issues is what the child intended…how the child reacts is relevant to assessing the defendant's intent. "You must decide what acts he did, if any, with the intention to satisfy this own sexual desire..any act he did with sexual desire is a crime…your job is to consider all of the evidence considered in this case…decide if the defendant engaged in the conduct alleged and if he did so with criminal intent. You may find the defendant guilty based on a victim's testimony alone…it does not need to be corroborated by other evidence in order to sustain a conviction.

9:18 a.m. – You are the judges of the credibility of the witness. You must decide whether to believe all of it, part of it, or none of it. They should consider the witness' demeanor, reputation, etc…Did the witness have anything to gain or lose by the outcome of the case? Any motive that might his/her testimony? Jurors must rely on their own experiences as well.

9:21 a.m. – Cleland reminds the jury of the fact that he was allowed to two expert witnesses. He said experts can only express opinions, not facts. The jury should consider their biases and expert training and should weigh their credibility. Cleland recognizes that the opinions of O'Brian and Atkins conflicted. You may not use the expert witness' testimony to determine …that is not a defense to any of the crimes charged. The evidence was not presented for that purpose and may not be used by you for that purpose. The law recognizes that a person of good reputation/character is not likely to commit a crime…evidence of good character is enough to arise a reasonable doubt. Each crime alleged should be separately considered.

9:29 a.m. – Counts 16, 18, 19 and 33 are missing from the verdict slips. This is not a mistake. Those counts are not being submitted for your consideration.

To find him guilty of the following crimes you must satisfy the following:

"involuntary deviant sexual intercourse" = satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had deviant sexual intercourse with a child; child over 12 and under 16 and that the defendant was 4 or more years older than the child; and the fact that they are not married.

All forms of deviant sexual intercourse the slightest degree of penetration is sufficient. It is irrelevant whether the child objected or consented; consent of the child is not a defense when the child within these age limits.

"indecent assault" = the defendant had indecent contact with the child or cause the child to have indecent contact with him; the child was less than 13 years of age

"unlawful contact with minors" = defendant was intentionally in contact with the minor; that contact was for the purpose of engaging in an unlawful act; the defendant of the child being contacted was within Pa. at the time (contact is defined by any means of communication, direct or indirect); minor is an individual under the age of 18

"corruption of minors" = the defendant was 18 years of age or older at the time of the incident; that the child was under 18 years of age; the defendant corrupted or attempted to corrupt the morals of the child by engaging in sexual acts with the child

"endangering the welfare of children" = the defendant engaged in a course of conduct by violating the duty of care or protection; the defendant endangered the welfare if the child with knowledge of the outcome; the defendant was at the time a parent, guardian or supervisor of a child; the child was under the age of 18. Jurors will be asked if this was a pattern or an isolated act.

"attempted indecent assault" = the defendant must intend to commit the crime; the defendant must take a substantial step to commit the crime; must bring about the touching of the intimate or sexual parts of the body for the purpose of arousing or gratifying his own sexual pleasure (this can occur over clothes) it is irrelevant if the child consented or even protested.

Regarding counts 36-40 – the statement of Mr. Calhoun as related by Petrosky is not sufficient alone; must be satisfied that a crime was committed other than Calhoun's hearsay statement. You may consider that statement but there must be other evidence to satisfy … Circumstantial carries no less weight than direct evidence.

9:43 a.m. – Court recess before closing statements. Each will take about 1 – 1 ½ hours.

10:08 a.m. – Court is back in session. Amendola begins his closing statements. Amendola approaches the jury box and speaks directly to them. "How could they all come into court and say these awful things happened if they didn't happen? … How could ten different sets of charges from 10 different people …on November 4, Mr. Sandusky's world came to an end. His wife's world came to an end …everything he ever fought for came to an end…Mr. Sandusky says, how do I fight this because I am innocent …how do you fight that? How does Mr. Sandusky fight that? Over a 14 year period…hundreds of times these kids said he did this to them, he did that to them…there's absolutely no direct evidence other than what came from the mouths of those individuals…not one piece of physical evidence."

"For two of the cases the Commonwealth brought we don't even have victims." "We found out in this trial that a lot of these kids knew each other…" "We know now that, for example [Victim 9] and [Victim 1]..were involved in inappropriate contact with Mr. Sandusky during the very same time period. We know that [Victim 6], [Victim 7] know each other and say they were involved with Mr. Sandusky at the same time…and [Victim 3] and [Victim 10] knew each other and were involved with Mr. Sandusky at the same time…" "Mr. Sandusky, if you believe their testimony, was a very busy man. How in the world did he work?" For all these years, nobody created a complaint against Mr. Sandusky, not one…not one counselor, not one parent has said ‘He did something.' "But Victim 1, in 2008…because he didn't want to go with Sandusky…he told you he heard an argument between [Victim 1] and his mom…he didn't say I didn't want to go because I'm afraid…he said I didn't want to go because I wanted to hang out with my friend – typical 15 or 16 year old. He never anticipated the colossal chain of events...Mr. Sandusky fondled me, that was his very first allegation." Amendola reminds the jury, "It's your recollection of the facts that counts…you apply the facts of the law." Amendola talks about the allegations that Victim 1 and his mother talked about getting rich…"Would that be the reaction of a mother of a child who was abused?" He asks them to recall the Children and Youth "everyone assumes there something else…he knew there was more, he said there must be more…he kept prodding." "Is that the reaction of a kid who was molested? Is that the reaction of a mother whose kid was molested? Do you see Mr. Sandusky? He wanted to fight that, he said, gentlemen that's not true. He said I didn't do that. I'm innocent." I told him, CYS does it's own thing, they're probably going to try to say that you did that. But Sandusky wanted to fight it…."

10:20 a.m. – Amendola said: "The system decided that Mr. Sandusky was guilty and the system sent out to convict him." Amendola said the state police had made up their mind that there were more people. Amendola talks about the Victim 6's case and said there was no decision to press charges…until the case came out in the media. Is it possible that Victim 1 said he stayed over Sandusky's house almost every weekend and that Victim 9 said he stayed over his house every weekend over the same period of time? In all of your common sense…could all of this sex be going on…without the kids not being aware of it, not aware of each other…Mrs. Sandusky not being aware of it…not walking in on it. Amendola points out the fact that there is no physical evidence that Sandusky had anal sex with Victim 9.

10:25 a.m. – Victim 4 said Sandusky did all these terrible things to him during the time frame of Victim 3. Amendola reminds the jury that it is their recollection of the facts that matters. Amendola reminds the jury of Dick Anderson's testimony of a football coach's schedule. "Where in the world? How in the world would Mr. Sandusky find time…to go play racquetball or basketball a couple of times a week with [Victim 4]?" He reminds them that Victim 4 said Sandusky was going to send him home if he didn't perform oral sex on him. Dottie gave a very different testimony, saying that Sandusky and Victim 4 were arguing about a banquet. Amendola reminds the jury of a witness who said Victim 4 had a reputation for lying and being dishonest. Jerry is now 68-years-old…all these alleged charges only go back to the 1990s. After all these years, when Jerry Sandusky is in his mid-50s he decides to … does that make sense to anybody?" He said Sandusky has had kids around him his whole life. "Mr. Sandusky out of the blue becomes a pedophile; starts abusing kids…doesn't make sense."

10:31 a.m. – Amendola talks about Victim 9 and Victim 10 who both came forward after the charges were dropped. He points out that the don't have lawyers and suggests that it's because he went public after the charges came down saying that these children were after money.

10:34 a.m. – "The Commonwealth kept searching and searching for victims." How did they find these people? Amendola said investigators found some victims through Sandusky's book Touched. "They said they read Sandusky's book…he puts the victims in the book. That's smart. That's the answer," Amendola said sarcastically. Amendola talked about how Sandusky took these children everywhere with him, that they were on the sidelines of games with him – very public. "Is that something someone who does the horrible crimes does?...it doesn't make sense, it just doesn't make sense," he said.

10:37 a.m. – Amendola talks about the fact that Victim 4 refused to talk to police until after he got a lawyer. "The other explanation is that he police kept going back to question them…to say ‘there's more to this. We don't think you're telling the truth.'" Amendola then talks about a tape of an interview that was played. "What happened is Trooper Leiter and Trooper Rossman screwed up…when interviewing [Victim 4]…he asked for a break….[the troopers] thought that they stopped the recording. They thought they were no longer being recorded. They had the plaintiff's attorney, looking for money, in the room." Amendola reads from the transcript of that interview pointing out the Trooper Leiter said they gave others details of what others had confessed to. "We did that with all the other kids," Leiter said. Amendola said troopers told Victim 4 that they needed him to tell them that Sandusky had oral sex with him.

10:45 a.m. – Amendola reminds jurors that Trooper Rossman said they did not tell alleged victims about what happened. He reminds jurors that Rossman said he did not talk about his testimony with Leiter during the break. Then Leiter said they did. Amendola talks about the witness yesterday who said police approached him and told him if he was lying that he would be arrested. "The days, the days Coach Paterno was fired…fired…his coach for 30-something years. His mentor." These charges were filed, one week before Paterno was to retire. "They could've arrested him after [Victim 1] in 2008 when they thought he was such a monster."" "If he's such a monster, why didn't they arrest in him 2008? Take him off the streets?" Amendola talks about Sandusky's interview with Costas. "Jerry wanted to tell the world he was innocent. Was he nervous? I'm nervous now, the courtroom is filled with 100 people…millions of people were listening…he didn't have to say a word…he agreed to the interview knowing it was going to be tough." He quotes the interview, saying Sandusky was nervous and trying to be honest.

10:56 a.m. – Amendola reads more from the Bob Costas interview. After he is done Amendola asks, "What more could he [Sandusky] have said?" Amendola said Costas was just as much of a tough interviewer as state prosecutor Joe McGettigan would be. Amendola again points out that Sandusky took the boys out in very public places. "You'd have to believe he was the boldest perpetrator in history."

11:01 a.m. – Amendola now begins talking about incident Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed. He points out that he heard no screaming. He said McQueary didn't do anything to stop what he saw. Sandusky is a big guy, but "I tell you, if they got in to a fight, my bet is on Mike McQueary," Amendola said. "He saw something, he assumed something sexual was going on." Amendola said Penn State police were 30 seconds away and he didn't call them. Amendola points out that he then told his father and Dr. Dranov. Dranov was a mandatory reporter but told him to talk to Paterno. Paterno tells McQueary he'll talk about it with athletic director, Curley. Of the entire incident, Amendola said, "Am I saying Mike McQueary is lying? No. I'm saying I think he assumed." Amendola points out that McQueary allegedly participated in a Second Mile golf tournament after this. "It doesn't make sense," he said.

11:09 a.m. – Amendola talks about Victim 6. His case was years ago but prosecutor Ray Gricar decided not to press charges. Amendola said after this Victim 6 maintained contact with Sandusky. He sent him text messages on Father's Day. "Does that sound like a victim? Why in the world would he continue to have that kind of relationship with Sandusky?," Amendola asked.

11:12 a.m. – "You have to believe that somehow, Mr. Sandusky with all the things he is doing…played basketball or racquetball 2 or 3 times a week during football season…You heard Dottie tell you he was home at night to have dinner with his kids," Amendola said. Amendola said they know nothing about the mental state of the janitor who said he saw oral sex. "Nobody wins in this case, it is awful no matter what happened…I would be the first one to tell you, if he did this, he should rot in jail. But what if he didn't do it…his life is destroyed." We have a fired university president and a dead coach…this is awful. Regardless of the outcome, it is awful…don't be fooled. Don't get tied up with the pictures."

11:16 a.m. – "All he ever wanted to do was help kids…he helped thousands of kids…you heard those kids, from the stand, say ‘he saved my life.'…and they looked a lot like the other kids," Amendola said. Amendola points out that Sandusky went to church and took these kids to church. Amendola read a poem by Mother Theresa that he said Sandusky shared with others over the years.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered: 

Forgive them anyway. 

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If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives:

Be kind anyway.

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If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies:

Succeed anyway.

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If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you:

Be frank and honest anyway.

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What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight:

Build anyway.

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The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow:

Do good anyway.

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Give the world the best you have and it my never be enough:

Give the world the best you've got anyway.

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You see, in the final analysis, it's between you and God:

It was never between you and them anyway.

~Mother Teresa

You know, he wrote that book Touched, and it's beautiful if you ever have a chance to read it…z

"Thank you for listening. I know you paid attention. I know you promised you would…when you go out ad deliberate, ladies and gentlemen…I'm asking for you to return the verdict of not guilty on all of these charges…Thank you so much for your attention…My heart is heavy. I'm sure you're hearts are heavy but thank you so much for your time."

11:51 a.m. – Court is back in session. The prosecution will present their closing argument.

11:52 a.m. – McGettigan approaches the jury bench and says something to make them chuckle. He speaks in a relatively soft tone, compared to Amendola. He tells the jury he is going to outline the evidence. McGettigan talks about one time that he got in trouble and his father was waiting for him. They talked for an hour and a half. He said this reminded him of something…(I couldn't hear what he said.) McGettigan reads from slides that suggest Sandusky's approach to his defense is textbook. "The great thing about conspiracy theories…is that you just let them go on and on until they are magically structured."

"You heard a 16 minute portion that was almost exclusively between an attorney…and the trooper. I think [Victim 4] went outside to get a Sierra Mist….Counsel acts like this was a big deal." McGettigan said it's not. He said on the rest of the tape, the jury would have heard Victim 4 talk about what happened. McGettigan said that Amendola provided two contradicting reasons why the victims would have lied: 1) they were coerced into confessing that something happened and 2) they were looking for money.

12:01 p.m. – In 1998 Sandusky admitted that showering with kids wasn't right. "What is to gain? What would be gained?" Amendola had to believe that there was this great drive…McGettigan points out that Sandusky took a lawyer with him to his first interview with Children and Youth, yet wants to deprive the alleged victims of having a lawyer. "You will always have alleged victims; you will always have an alleged conspiracy." McGettigan said that Amendola's conspiracy theory requires time travel. He said he was serving overseas in 2008 and 2009 and he didn't even know about Sandusky.

12:06 p.m. – McGettigan puts a slide up on the screen. The same slide he put up during openings. Humiliation. Shame. Fear. = silence He put the pictures of the young boys up on the screen again. "Please remember that," McGettigan said. He said in the case they heard from young men, but the case is about young boys. He puts Sandusky's picture up on the screen: "This case is about him and what he did to them…it's not about conspiracy…it's not about fame or money."

12:08 p.m. – There's one thing Amendola didn't talk about: the fact that witnesses react different ways on the witness stand. He said one of these is nervousness. "I've been doing this a long time and I'm nervous every time I stand up in front of people," McGettigan said. Aspects of witnesses: perception, recollection and articulation. McGettigan told the jury, "You saw a spectrum of witnesses with different capacities to appear before you as witnesses." McGettigan said that the witnesses because of age their perception is not that great. He gave the example of Victim 6: "He perceived a feeling … but he didn't not perceive so well."

12:12 p.m. – Of the witnesses some had "Difficulties in speaking because of the tremendous recollection and emotional response." Of an alleged victim who testified at the end of the day: think of "somebody who has been sitting around for 5, 5 ½ hours…waiting to be asked big questions by big people." McGettigan said "Sometimes witnesses are just frozen…" He said one time a witness he questioned couldn't remember his date of birth. McGettigan said Amendola did not ask alleged victims about the actual assaults, he asked them about dates and times. "The reason he didn't ask about the specific incidents, what this defendant did…because that's when they fight back with more detail." McGettigan said that's what happened with Victim 4. McGettigan criticized the way Amendola asked witnesses questions from across the room. He said this caused the witnesses not to look at the jury. He spoke of Dick Anderson's testimony who said it was normal for people to shower together but he recognized "Took them to the shower…and hugged them and told them he'd squeeze their guts out…and loved them. I don't think Mr.Anderson said anything like that."

Of the young men who said Sandusky did not abuse them though they were involved in the Second Mile: "I would love to see them when they were 13…similarities in age and appearance…did you notice his demeanor on the witnesses stand and he said he stayed at the defense's "He didn't have time to molest them because he was too busy being a coach. That's ludicrous."

McGettigan said people say Sandusky was helping children in need. No, he said, "he was preying on those who were most vulnerable…look at all the good…does that give you a dispensation for being a molester…how much good do you think he's really done?"

"It's fascinating because….you see the full spectrum of predatory pedophile behavior. The first touch…hugs him, picks him up in the shower. [Victim 6] is so young he doesn't know what it is. That's the first step, touch one." The second step was having Victim 5 touching his genitals. "The reason it stopped there as because (he) recoiled," he said. "Step three, extended touching of a sexual nature. Moving further along the scale of making that child accustomed to sexual touching… there's a kid who served his country in a war, came back and talked about it…served his country in combat and then talked about how he was abused as a child…and that's exactly how these shrewd predatory pedophiles prey….the behavior became full blown.

"That is really what is going on here…a predatory pedophile also has a spectrum of treatment of his victims…"

McGettigan noted that Sandusky thought his relationships with the victims was normal. He talks about the Children and Youth social worker. "Pedophiles do not commit their crimes in public…they operate in public…"

12:33 p.m. – "Pennsylvania State University is not on trial here and neither is The Second Mile," he said. "You know what, it's a sad day. It's truly a sad day." When these victims came forward, "They knew, they knew they were going to be called liars," McGettigan said. "Because I told them, because it's a bad practice to expect someone to tell you the truth if you don't tell them the truth."

McGettigan said he wants to speak up for McQueary now. McQueary grew up in State College; he went to Penn State, he was a quarterback. McGettigan asks if they can think of anything greater than being a quarterback and then coming back to coach. "He has been criticized for not going to the police…he went to his dad and his dad told him to go to Coach Paterno. Paterno was the go-to guy and he went to the go-to guy to find out what to do. And he expected something to happen," McGettigan said of McQueary.

12:39 p.m. – "The defendant had multiple opportunities to speak out," but he only spoke to Bob Costas. "I would think the automatic response when someone would ask you if you're a pedophile, you're immediate response would be ‘No! I'm not!"…not, ‘Am I sexually attracted to young boys?' and think about it a little," McGettigan said. McGettigan tells the jury about why they were allowed to hear the ‘excited utterance' from the janitor who allegedly witnessed forced oral sex in the shower. McGettigan said Petrosky's testimony was "extremely descriptive and reliable." He said in addition to what the janitor told him, Petrosky himself witnessed the boy and Sandusky coming out of the shower and saw them hold hands in the hallway.

12:44 p.m. – McGettigan said that Sandusky remembers the incident with McQueary clearly because he saw him. McGettigan notes that Sandusky could exonerate himself completely from that charge by providing the name of that boy. But "he didn't provide that name, certainly not to Bob Costas," he said. McGettigan asks the jurors to remember the "respectful" response from each alleged victim. He asks the jury to remember each witnesses and how their experiences with Sandusky affected them.

After the McQueary incident, Sandusky was told not to bring kids on campus anymore.

12:50 p.m. – McGettigan points out that Dottie "recollected knowing each of these boys but didn't recollect how many times they were there." McGettigan said after Dottie identified pictures of each of the boys, she said she didn't know why they'd lie. McGettigan said that Amendola clearly wasn't listening to witness' testimonies. McGettigan said Amendola asked Victim 9 one too many questions and "He had trouble going to the bathroom and always missing his underwear."

Sandusky is "a serial, predatory pedophile," he said. Who preyed on "the most vulnerable, weakest of those most in need of a father figure at the expense of the child."

McGettigan said he is almost ready to conclude but has to look at his notes.

"I feel like I have the pieces of 10 souls in my pocket…boy's memories destroyed … but what you can and what you should and what you must do and what I think the evidence calls for…that he molested and abused." McGettian said he wanted them to convict Sandusky and give these boys back the pieces of their souls.

1:02 p.m. – The only place you can deliberate is in Courtroom 2. Jury attendants will be outside and jurors can communicate requests to them for food, water and documents, etc… Jurors will be put up at a local hotel, each in their own room but the televisions and phones will be turned off. They cannot take any electronic devices with them. They can deliberate on their own schedule but only when they are all in Courtroom 2. Judge Cleland said nothing he has said not intended to sway them with anything he has said. If it appears he has tried to sway them, he said they should disregard it. Cleland reminds the jurors to set aside their bias. Their first duty is to elect a foreman who will be responsible for deliberations and reading the verdict. The verdict must be unanimous. He said each person must decide the case for themselves and should not change their opinions just to come to a verdict. He said they should feel to have their opinions change as they talk to their fellow jurors. "You represent the conscious of your community," Cleland said. "You do not sit here as the moral conscious of your community…it is not for you to decide that Mr. Sandusky is a good or bad person…you sit here as the legal conscious of the community because we live under the rule of law and Mr. Sandusky is a citizen." He said the Commonwealth cannot take action against Sandusky until the jury gives the verdict.

1:09 p.m. – "We will await your verdict." The juror attendant is sworn in and all jurors are taken out. The alternates stay behind. Juror 16, your services are concluded. Cleland will speak to him in chambers. Jurors 14 and 15 will be required to remain if for some reason a juror cannot continue deliberations. The alternates will be sequestered separately from the others. They should not discuss the case with each other. If they are needed, the jury will have to start their deliberations over again.

1:12 p.m. – The court stands in recess.

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