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Deadlocked jury told to keep deliberating

UPDATED 5:03 p.m.

David Delonais

UPDATED 5:03 p.m.
FARGO - About 90 minutes after telling a judge they were deadlocked, jurors in the Elijah Addai murder case were sent home for the night. They were told to come back Wednesday to resume deliberations at 9 a.m.

About 3 p.m., East Central Judicial District Judge Cynthia Rothe-Seeger told the jury to continue to try to reach a verdict after they informed her they were deadlocked, meaning they couldn't agree on a verdict. They had discussed the case for about 15 hours.

Several jurors nodded their heads as they were told that; others stared straight ahead and looked frustrated.

At that time, Rothe-Seeger asked jurors if they were unable to reach a verdict.

"Essentially, we are at an impasse. We cannot agree," the male jury foreman said.

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The judge told the jury to keep trying and sent them back to the deliberation room.

The victim's family was in court, as were some police who were involved in the investigation.

Deliberations resumed at 9 a.m. today at the Cass County Courthouse.

Addai, 24, is accused of stabbing David Delonais, 24, to death in the early morning hours of Aug. 19, 2007, in south Fargo following a fight during a party at an apartment.

Addai's attorney, Ross Brandborg, has told jurors his client is not to blame, but rather Addai's friend Semereab "7-Up" Tesfaye is responsible for Delonais' death.

Cass County prosecutors told jurors that the evidence points to Addai and to not be confused by the six knives found in the area.

Check back to www.inforum.com for updates and read reporter Brittany Lawonn's courtroom blog at www.areavoices.com/courtroom

Copyright 2008 The Forum

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David Delonais

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