BREAKING: Jury in Philadelphia sex abuse trial deadlocked

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

After 11 days of deliberations, jurors at the landmark clergy-sex abuse trial of two Philadelphia priests said Wednesday they were deadlocked on all but one count.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina immediately pressed them to keep trying.

In a note sent the judge shortly before noon, the panel of seven men and five women reported they had reached “a hung jury status” for four of the five charges in the case. They did not identify on which charge they agreed.

Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former clergy secretary for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is charged with one count of conspiracy and two of child endangerment for allegedly failing to remove two priests despite signs they might abuse minors. The Rev. James J. Brennan faces one count each of attempted rape and endangerment.

In their note, the jurors said, “We have all jurors firm on their votes except for two on one charge.” One of those jurors could be persuaded after looking at more evidence, the note said, but that would not end the deadlock.

The judge and lawyers debated the next step then called the jurors into the courtroom. They filed slowly to their assigned seats, some with eyes cast downward, one or two with arms folded.

Sarmina gave them a standard instruction, known as a Spencer charge, to keep deliberating. “If indeed you don’t reach a verdict, the case may have to be tried all over again,” the judge said.

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