Jacksonville, FL - The third day of jury deliberations is shaping up to be all about noise, both inside and out of the courtroom.
We opened with a concern over whether what was said in the courtroom could be heard by the jurors, and vice versa.
Judge Russell Healey says other courtrooms in the new Duval County Courthouse have had problems with sound leaking through due to thin walls or gaps under doors. He says this is the first trial to be held in this courtroom, so it’s unclear if that would be a problem here as well.
For the past day and a half of deliberations leading to Friday morning, there was no restriction placed on sitting in the courtroom. Healey says this was an exception made specifically for this case, but not normal practice. While he didn’t overtly say the noise issue had come up here, he said it’s possible, so the courtroom is no longer open while court itself is in recess.
In fact there has been virtually no noise inside the courtroom not just because it’s now empty, but because jurors have not brought a single question to the Judge as of late afternoon Friday. During deliberations Thursday, there were four questions raised.
Meanwhile a little noise outside caused a brief rise in tensions on the courthouse walkway. A handful of demonstrators have gathered most days during the trial, slightly more today than others so far. The organizations have a range of specific items they’re speaking on, and what kind of action they advocate in response. While with the exception of a megaphone, it has been relatively quiet, chants occasionally break out saying there will be no peace without “justice”- and some of those demonstrators have had words with others standing with signs. Nothing has escalated significantly.
Deliberations today mark the eleventh day of trial proceedings, dating back to last Monday when jury selection began. The 12 jurors and 4 alternates who were seated for this trial have been sequestered since last Thursday morning. Today marks the scheduled end to the trial, and there is no word yet on whether deliberations would resume Saturday or Monday, if no verdict is reached today.
WOKV remains on verdict watch at the courthouse. We will bring you instant updates on Twitter (@WOKVNews and @NewsAndNom) as well as live anchored coverage of the verdict when it comes in, stay with WOKV on 104.5FM/AM690.