Jury in Bill Cosby trial ends third day of deliberations without a verdict

Bill Cosby arrives at the courthouse on Wednesday.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Jurors in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial on Wednesday asked to review yet more testimony as deliberations wound down for a third day without a verdict.

After nearly 30 hours of deliberating, the sequestered jury has been unable to come to a unanimous decision on the guilt or innocence of the famed entertainer. They’re deciding on three counts of aggravated indecent assault related to a January 2004 incident in which Cosby digitally penetrated Andrea Constand after providing her with unidentified pills.

The jury came back with two requests for Judge Steven T. O’Neill on Wednesday — it wanted to hear again trial testimony from Constand and Richard Schaffer, a police officer from Montgomery County, Pa., who was part of a team that interviewed Cosby in early 2005. Court personnel have been rereading transcripts from the proceedings out loud.


Jurors have now heard replays of testimony concerning details of the night in question from nearly every major angle given in the trial. Earlier in the week, they reviewed a deposition Cosby provided in a civil suit and an interview Constand gave to a police officer in her native Ontario, Canada.

The reread of Schaffer’s testimony took a particularly large chunk of Wednesday as the transcript for the 45 minutes of his testimony that the jury requested was still being prepared before it could be read aloud.

At 9 p.m. the judge dismissed the jury. “It’s been 12 hours. That is enough,” O’Neill said. Deliberations will begin again at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Because it involves multiple accounts from each of the two principals, the Cosby case comes with an added layer of complexity. There is a relatively small set of facts about the night but many interpretations — some of them not always in harmony even within one principal’s narrative.

Still, the longer that deliberations wear on, the greater possibility of a deadlocked jury, which would ultimately result in a mistrial if the stalemate can’t be broken. O’Neill is expected to send the jury back to the deliberation room several times to try to resolve any tie-ups before declaring a hung jury.

Twitter: @ZeitchikLAT


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