Guam – The jury in the DeSoto murder trial is now in its 5th day of jury deliberations but still no verdict has been reached.
While it’s too early to tell whether this 12 panel jury, made up of 10 women and 2 men, will be divided, Judiciary Staff Attorney Sophia Diaz says there are rules set in place if there is a hung jury.
Generally, there is no statutory deadline for a jury to reach a verdict. It will simply be up to the jury to decide when it has exhausted all efforts to reach a unanimous verdict. If the jury is dismissed without a verdict, the Judge will declare a mistrial. The defense will then have 7 days to file a motion for acquittal, which means if the judge agrees, then the defendant is released from prison.
The prosecution, meanwhile, will also have the opportunity to retry the case. Attorney General Spokesperson Carlina Charfauros says there is no time limitation to retry a case, except for whatever statute of limitations apply to the charges. In this case, since the charges involve murder, there is no statute of limitations.
Chad DeSoto is facing three counts of aggravated murder and 11 counts of attempted aggravated murder in the February 12, 2013 Tumon rampage. He is using the insanity plea as his defense, so the jury will have three decisions to weigh. Guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity.