Jurors in Kim Potter trial struggle to reach a verdict and ask judge what to do if they can’t come to a unanimous decision after deliberating for more than 13 小时
The jurors in the Kim Potter trial are struggling to come to a verdict, having returned to the court Tuesday with two questions which offered the first real insight into how they are wrestling to reach a unanimous decision on the former cop’s guilt or innocence.
Judge Regina Chu returned to the bench to answer two jury questions which were lodged at 4pm CT after more than 13 hours of deliberations.
The first and most revealing question was, ‘If the jury cannot reach consensus what is the guidance around how long and what steps should be taken?’
Judge Chu responded by repeating the instructions she gave when jurors were sent out following closing statements Monday.
Former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter was seen in the courtroom Tuesday afternoon after the jury returned with two questions during deliberations
陶匠, 谁是白人, is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for accidentally shooting black motorist Daunte Wright dead during a traffic stop on April 11
Addressing the jury she said: ‘I’m going to reread to you instructions I previously gave you.
‘You should discuss the case with one another and deliberate with a view to reaching agreement if you can do so without violating your personal judgement.’
她继续: ‘You should not hesitate to re-examine your views and change your opinions if you become convinced they are erroneous, but you should not change your own opinions simply because other jurors disagree or merely to reach a verdict.’
The second question the jury asked was whether they could remove the zip ties on Potter’s gun in the evidence box so they can more easily examine it.
Judge Chu said yes they could before sending the jurors back out to continue their deliberations.
As soon as they were released, the defense launched an objection to Judge Chu’s decision to reread jury instructions.
They also argued against allowing jurors to hold the gun. The judge swiftly overruled both objections.
Potter said she mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her Taser because the traffic stop devolved into ‘chaos’
Prosecutors argued that Potter betrayed her badge and oath by using her weapon ‘rashly or recklessly’ on the day of the botched traffic stop
The jury on Tuesday asked the judge whether they could remove the zip ties on Potter’s gun to more easily examine it. 图为: Potter’s gun and taser side by side
Jurors met for about five hours after closing arguments on Monday and resumed deliberating for a second day at 9 星期二.
The jury is being sequestered during deliberations.
Judge Chu earlier told jurors that she will not make them deliberate on 圣诞 Eve or Christmas Day. They’ll return after the holiday if they haven’t reached a verdict by then.
During closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors accused Potter of a ‘blunder of epic proportions’ in Wright’s death in an April 11 traffic stop – but said a mistake was no defense.
Prosecutor Erin Eldridge called Wright’s death ‘entirely preventable. Totally avoidable.’
She urged the jury not to excuse it as a mistake: ‘Accidents can still be crimes if they occur as a result of reckless or culpable negligence.’
‘She drew a deadly weapon,’ Eldridge said. ‘She aimed it. She pointed it at Daunte Wright’s chest, and she fired.’
Potter’s attorneys countered that Wright, who was attempting to get away from officers as they tried to handcuff him for an outstanding warrant on a weapons charge, ’caused the whole incident.’
Defense attorney Earl Gray argued that Wright was to blame for trying to flee from police. He said Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her Taser because the traffic stop ‘was chaos.’
Judge Regina Chu returned to the courtroom late Tuesday afternoon after the jury asked what to do if they could not reach a consensus
The judge told the jury to continue working, as was explained in the initial instructions she gave them
‘Daunte Wright caused his own death, 很遗憾,’ 他说. He also argued that shooting Wright wasn’t a crime.
Potter testified Friday that she ‘didn’t want to hurt anybody’ and that she was ‘sorry it happened.’
Eldridge said the case wasn’t about whether Potter was sorry.
‘Of course she feels bad about what she did. … But that has no place in your deliberations,’ 她说.
陶匠, 谁是白人, is charged with first- 和二级误杀.
If convicted of the most serious charge, the former cop would face a sentence of about seven years under state guidelines, though prosecutors have said they will seek more.
Prosecutors have to prove recklessness or culpable negligence in order to win a conviction on the manslaughter charges.
CHARGES AND POTENTIAL PENALTIES IN KIM POTTER TRIAL:
FIRST-DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER PREDICATED ON RECKLESS USE/HANDLING OF FIREARM AND SECOND-DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER:
- First-degree manslaughter in this case means prosecutors allege that Potter caused Wright’s death while committing a misdemeanor – the ‘reckless handling or use of a firearm so as to endanger the safety of another with such force and violence that death or great bodily harm to any person was reasonably foreseeable.’
- The second-degree manslaughter charge alleges that she caused his death ‘by her culpable negligence,’ meaning that Potter ’caused an unreasonable risk and consciously took a chance of causing death or great bodily harm’ to Wright, while using or possessing a firearm.
- Neither charge requires prosecutors to prove Potter intended to kill Wright.
- The maximum for first-degree manslaughter is 15 年份; for second-degree, 它的 10 年份. But Minnesota judges follow sentencing guidelines that normally call for less – just over seven years for first-degree, and four years for second-degree.
- Prosecutors have said they will seek a longer sentence due to aggravating factors, which is what they did in former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial for killing George Floyd.
- The longest sentences that could conceivably stick on appeal are double the top of the guidelines range. But that’s more than the statutory maximum of 15 years for first-degree manslaughter, 所以 15 years would be the cap for Potter if she’s convicted. The realistic maximum on the lesser charge would be 9 1/2 年份.
- Presuming good behavior, Minnesota offenders typically serve two-thirds of their time in prison and one-third on supervised release.