Jury in Joseph Beer vehicular homicide trial ordered to resume deliberations

Joseph Beer in court in Mineola on Thursday, Joseph Beer in court in Mineola on Thursday, May 8, 2014. Beer is accused of being high on marijuana and driving more than 100 mph when he crashed on the Southern State Parkway on Oct. 8, 2012, killing four of his friends. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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A Nassau County judge ordered deliberations to resume Friday in the Joseph Beer aggravated vehicular homicide trial after jurors reported being deadlocked on some charges.

The development came on the third day of deliberations, with the jury telling Judge David Sullivan yesterday afternoon that they've only been able to reach a partial verdict.

Jurors first said Wednesday in a note that they were at an "impasse," but Sullivan told them to continue.

At the jury's request, Sullivan will read the definition of impairment along with the elements of the top charge when they return to the Mineola courtroom Friday morning.

Jurors will also see a video of the part of the Southern State Parkway in Lakeview where the October 2012 wreck happened that killed four of Beer's teenage friends.

The prosecution has said Beer, then 17, was speeding, driving without a license and impaired by marijuana at the time of the crash. But a defense expert testified that blood test results aren't a good measure of impairment when it comes to frequent marijuana users.

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Beer, 19, of Queens, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.

His attorney, Todd Greenberg, said nobody knew what charges the jury was deadlocked on and called Thursday's developments nerve-wracking for his client.

"He lost his four friends . . . and certainly he understands his conduct was wrong. And now we're hoping the jury is going to put it into perspective," he said.

A spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice said her office wouldn't comment until after a verdict.

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