After five days of deliberation in the second-degree murder trial of Davawn Robinson, the jury has told the judge they are unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Robinson, 24, is charged with strangling Edgard Mercado, 39, during a sexual hookup in New York City in 2009. Attorneys for the defendant say Mercado's death was accidental.
Gay City Newsreports that after revisiting trial testimony on December 20, the jury informed Judge Daniel P. FitzGerald that they were deadlocked in their deliberations. When the judge instructed them to continue deliberating, several of the jurors began to weep.
According to the story, the jury is faced with convicting Robinson of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide. Penalties for the three charges range from a maximum sentence of 25 years to life to a maximum of four years. A conviction of manslaughter or negligent homicide would make Robinson "eligible for release after serving six-sevenths of the sentence, but a second-degree murder conviction requires at least 25 years in jail."