Jury fails to reach verdict, sent home for weekend in murder case
CENTREVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Newschannel 3 is on verdict watch, as the fate of Portage accountant Andy Brown rests in the hands of a St. Joseph County jury.
Brown is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of his boss, 70-year-old David Locey.
Newschannel 3 has been on-hand in Centreville all day waiting on a verdict, but after a second day of deliberations, and talks totaling 13 hours, there is still no verdict to be had.
The jury did file into court one time this afternoon to pose their first question.
It appears they may be confused about the evidence in the trial, and what parts of it they should use in making their decision.
Judge Stutesman told them they may need to review their jury instructions and press the proverbial reset button on their deliberations.
A few possible sticking points for the jury could be as follows:
- Was there a motive?
The prosecution says Locey was about to fire Brown for embezzling money, and Brown became desperate to take Locey down with him.
The defense, on the other hand, says Brown had clients of his own, didn't need Locey's practice to stay afloat, and never harbored any hatred.
- The gunshot residue found on Andy Brown's pants and vest.
The prosecution says it's from shooting David Locey.
The defense claims the residue may be from contact with guns and shells at his father-in-law's home.
- A mysterious footprint
The footprint was found at the murder scene, but doesn't trace back to Andy Brown.
In addition, the murder weapon has never been found.
"Be careful when you go through the evidence," advised Judge Paul Stutesman. "Recall what it was offered for, what it was not offered for, what it can be used for, what it cannot be used for, and those types of things. And from the evidence, you have you have to make a decision. You shouldn't concern yourselves with what-ifs and what-could-haves. It's 'What do I have, and with what I have can I make a decision?'"
The jurors have now gone home for the weekend.
They will continue deliberations first thing Monday morning.
Newschannel 3 will stay on top of the case and bring you an update as soon as a verdict is reached.