The jury seated for Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial apparently cannot reach a unanimous decision on any of the counts that the famed comedian is accused of, and has announced that it is deadlocked. Nonetheless, Judge Steven O’Neill, who is presiding over the case, is insisting that the jurors keep trying and has denied a motion for a mistrial.
USA Today reports that crying was heard in the courtroom as the jury announced that it was deadlocked on all three counts after some 30 hours of deliberation. Jurors sent a note to O’Neill saying that they “cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of the counts,” but O’Neill told them to try again.
“The jury foreman has informed me that you are deadlocked,” O’Neill said as the jury reconvened in the courtroom. “Each of you has a duty to consult with one another … if it can be done without violence. But each of you must decide by yourself.”
After the statement was read, the jurors walked back out of the courtroom, and crying could be heard from spectators.
Thursday will mark the fourth day of deliberations for the jury as tensions remain high. Cosby is facing charges of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, stemming from a 2004 encounter between Cosby and accuser Andrea Constand.
It’s been a grueling process, with the jurors reassembling several times in court to ask questions or to request extended read-backs of testimony. O’Neill has praised the jurors for how seriously they have taken the case thus far.
“This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity,” O’Neill said Wednesday. “I don’t have any higher praise. You have taken your task so seriously.”