Jurors ended their fifth day of deliberations Tuesday in the murder trial of former California Highway Patrol Officer Craig Peyer.
Prosecutors, following a monthlong trial, asked the jury to convict Peyer of first-degree murder.
However, instructions given to the jury by Superior Court Judge Richard D. Huffman allow for a second-degree murder conviction.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Peyer, 37, would be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. A second-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of 10 years to life.
Peyer, a 13-year CHP veteran, is charged with strangling Cara Knott, 20, on Dec. 27, 1986. Police said Knott was killed after a struggle on the Old U.S. 395 bridge near Interstate 15 and the Mercy Road off-ramp.
San Diego police arrested Peyer Jan. 15, 1987. He was fired in May and is currently free on $1 million bail.