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Jurors debate another day

A day after telling a judge they were deadlocked, jurors in the Elijah Addai murder trial kept deliberating, surpassing the length it took a 2007 jury to deadlock in the first murder case of Moe Gibbs.

Addai

A day after telling a judge they were deadlocked, jurors in the Elijah Addai murder trial kept deliberating, surpassing the length it took a 2007 jury to deadlock in the first murder case of Moe Gibbs.

With just more than 23 hours of deliberations under their belt, the 10 women and two men will return to the Cass County Courthouse at 9 a.m. today to decide whether Addai killed David Delonais last August in Fargo.

Jury discussions have now surpassed those of several high-profile cases in Cass County - including the last murder case taken to trial - and a federal death penalty case.

In September 2006, it took a federal jury 12½ hours to decide that Alfonso Rodriguez should be put to death for killing Dru Sjodin.

After eight hours of deliberations in April 2007, Cass County jurors found Deandre Buchanan not guilty of murder in the June 2006 shooting death of his friend.

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A year earlier, it took a jury less than four hours to convict Dennis Gaede of killing a Wisconsin man. In 1999, it took a jury about four hours to convict Kyle Bell of killing 11-year-old Jeanna North in 1993.

Most recently, a jury deliberated for five hours in September before returning five not guilty verdicts for Jatten Heinen, a former day care worker accused of molesting young girls last summer.

Jurors appeared to be in better spirits Wednesday, the third full day of deliberations. They asked the judge one question about 9:30 a.m., inquiring whether they could get the court reporter's notes on testimony. The judge denied their request after discussing it with attorneys.

If deliberations continue into this afternoon, they will have surpassed the 27 hours it took a second jury in November 2007 to convict Gibbs of killing Mindy Morgenstern of Valley City, N.D.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541

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