A second day of deliberations ended Thursday evening without a verdict in the trial of a man accused of killing three of Jennifer Hudson's family members.
"If you're going to convict somebody, you want to make sure, even if it seems like the evidence is super strong, that you've gone through, piece by piece, given them their due, before you send them to jail," explained jury consultant William Healy.
Healy said the rule of thumb is typically one day of deliberations for each week of a trial. Testimony in the William Balfour trial lasted more than two weeks.
The 12 jurors received the murder case Wednesday afternoon and stopped deliberating about five hours later.
Attorneys on both sides wrapped up with passionate closing arguments. Prosecutors pointed to what they call a tsunami of evidence that includes 400 exhibits and 83 witnesses. They said the circumstantial evidence is drowning Balfour in guilt.
"In this case, there's a lot of evidence, but it's understandable evidence. There's nothing so complicated here that it's going to take them a long time to figure out," said Healy.
But in her closing arguments, Balfour attorney Amy Thompson zeroed in on a lack of DNA and fingerprint evidence against her client. She also suggested the keys to Jason Hudson's SUV, where Julian King's body was found, were planted on Balfour by police.
Hanging over the entire case is the celebrity of Jennifer Hudson.
A recap of trial coverage so far:
- Day 12: Day 1 Deliberations in Hudson Trial End Without Verdict
- Day 11: Testimony in Hudson Family Murder Trial Ends Without Defendant Taking Stand
- Day 10: Friend of Balfour's Testifies Against Him at Hudson Trial
- Day 9: Witness: Hudson Had One Enemy, "That Cat" Balfour
- Day 8: Balfour DNA Not Found on Murder Weapon: Expert
- Day 8: Judge Bars Phones in Court
- Day 7: Neighbor Says Balfour Threatened Julia Hudson
- Day 7: Court Denies Jennifer Hudson Is Getting Star Treatment
- Day 6: Police Testify at Hudson Trial About Finding Gun
- Day 6: "Somebody Killed My Mother:" Hudson 911 Tape Released to Media
- Day 5: Balfour Girlfriend Says He Confessed to Killing Hudson Family Members
- Day 4: Witness: Balfour Repeatedly Threatened Hudson Family
- Day 3: Prosecutors Show Photos of Hudson's Slain Nephew
- Day 2: Cops Describe Finding Slain Hudson Family Members
- Day 1: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down During Murder Trial