Rosario Lucero, mother of Marcelo Lucero, listens during as statements...

Rosario Lucero, mother of Marcelo Lucero, listens during as statements by supporters are made at the Suffolk County courthouse in Riverhead, N.Y. late during the third day of jury deliberation. (April 16, 2010) Credit: AP

The jury in Jeffrey Conroy's murder and manslaughter trial deliberated Friday for a third day in State Supreme Court in Riverhead.

Conroy, 19, of Medford, is accused in the Nov. 8, 2008, stabbing death of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, 37, near the Patchogue train station.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter as hate crimes, among other charges.

 

 

10:17 p.m. Jury to resume talks Monday

 

State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle sent jurors home until Monday morning.

The seven-man, five-woman panel deliberated more than 12 hours Friday without reaching a verdict.

Sounding weary, Doyle reminded jurors not to talk to anyone about the case over the weekend, or to read or watch news accounts of the trial.

The jury is to report to the Suffolk County courthouse at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

 

 

9:55 p.m. Jury resumes deliberations

 

The jury resumed its discussions after hearing the readback of Suffolk police Det. John McLeer's cross-examination by defense attorney William Keahon of Hauppauge.

As jurors returned to the jury room, State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle asked to see prosecutor Megan O'Donnell and Keahon in his chambers.

A court reporter read McLeer's testimony for more than two hours straight following a dinner break.

 

 

9:30 p.m. Lucero family "concerned" about late deliberations

 

As the readback continued, members of the Lucero family and some of their supporters left the third-floor courtroom and spoke to reporters in the hallway.

The Rev. Allan Ramirez, an adviser to the family, and Fernando Mateo, another spokesman, questioned State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle's decision to have the jurors continue deliberations so late into the night.

"There were moments during the readback testimony when Mrs. Lucero felt such an intense emotion of pain that she was ready to walk out," said Ramirez, who is pastor of Brookville Reformed Church in Brookville. "She cannot continue to go through this kind of intense agony."

Mateo said the family is "very concerned about the 12 hours the jurors have been here deliberating."

"We believe that most of them are falling asleep," Mateo said. "We believe that what's going on is not right. We believe that, in this case, keeping the jury here ... is inhumane."

 

 

9 p.m. Readback continues past 9 p.m.

 

At the hour when State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle had hoped to end jury deliberations for the night, a court reporter still was reading defense attorney William Keahon's cross-examination of Det. John McLeer.

It was not known when Doyle would dismiss the jury or whether the panel would be asked to deliberate on Saturday.

Joselo Lucero, Marcelo's brother, entered the courtroom shortly before 9 p.m., followed soon after by his sister, Isabel.

 

 

7:56 p.m. Lucero's mother enters courtroom

 

Rosario Lucero, Marcelo Lucero's mother, entered the courtroom as a court reporter read testimony given by the lead police detective in the case.

She was accompanied by the Rev. Allan Ramirez, a family adviser, and another supporter.

 

 

7:40 p.m. Readback of detective's testimony resumes

 

The readback of defense attorney William Keahon's cross-examination of Det. John McLeer resumed after a dinner break.

At the point where the court reporter picked up the testimony, McLeer had testified about injuries the police found on Conroy as they questioned him after Lucero was stabbed.

Conroy said the injuries came from play-wrestling with a girl earlier that night and fighting with a classmate two days earlier, McLeer testified.

 

 

7:35 p.m. Courtroom reopens

 

The courtroom was reopened after the dinner break.

 

 

7:30 p.m. Jurors eat dinner

 

Jurors were eating dinner brought in from a nearby pizzeria.

After dinner, they were expected to resume hearing the readback of defense attorney William Keahon's cross-examination of Det. John McLeer.

 

 

6:30 p.m. Pizza picked up for jurors

 

Jurors will dine on food from Parto's, a local pizzeria, court sources said.

Reporters saw two court officers pick up several boxes of pizzas from the restaurant on Main Street in Riverhead.

 

 

5:55 p.m. Jury hearing McLeer's cross-examination

 

A court reporter began reading defense attorney William Keahon's cross-examination of Suffolk police Det. John McLeer, the lead detective in the case.

State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle told jurors it would take two hours to 21/2 hours for McLeer's testimony to be read.

Food for the jury had been ordered, the judge said.

Doyle said the readback would be halted when the food arrived and then would continue after dinner.

"You're not going to have a leisurely dinner, I can tell you that," the judge told jurors.

 

 

5:20 p.m. Jury wants to hear detective's cross-examination

 

The jury has asked to hear defense attorney William Keahon's cross-examination of Det. John McLeer, the lead detective in the case who took Conroy's statement in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2008, after Lucero had been stabbed and killed.

Keahon questioned McLeer on April 5 and 6, the detective's second day on the witness stand. During the cross-examination, which lasted several hours, Keahon tried to cast doubt on parts of the five-page statement McLeer had taken from Conroy.

Earlier in their deliberations, jurors have twice asked specifically to see that statement.

 

 

5:10 p.m. Jury may deliberate into evening hours

 

The jury may work overtime Friday night.

A courthouse source said State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle could keep the jury deliberating as late as 9 p.m.

As word of the likely late workday spread, members of Lucero's family and Conroy's father, Robert, left the courtroom with other spectators.

 

 

4:10 p.m. Judge reads conspiracy definition

 

At the jury's request, State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle read the definition of fourth-degree conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege Conroy conspired with six other teens to commit gang assault on Lucero.

Four of the other teens pleaded guilty to first-degree gang assault.

The jury resumed its deliberations at 4:20 p.m.

 

 

4 p.m. Courthouse speculation on weekend deliberations

 

As the jury continued discussing Conroy's fate, speculation grew late Friday afternoon about the possibility of weekend deliberations.

Some courthouse personnel said State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle has in the past had juries deliberate on weekends. Other courthouse denizens said the judge is not likely to do it in this case.

In another high-profile Suffolk trial, before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn in December 2008, a jury returned its verdict on a Saturday night, several days before Christmas.

In that case, John White was found guilty of manslaughter for the 2006 killing of an unarmed teenager during a confrontation outside White's house.

 

 

2:56 p.m. Lucero family sitting in courtroom

 

The Lucero family walked into the courtroom.

Marcelo's mother, Rosario, walked arm-in-arm with her son Joselo, while her daughter Isabel followed closely behind.

As they had on Thursday, the family walked slowly past journalists without speaking.

The Luceros took seats in the fourth row of the courtroom, which was mostly vacant.

State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle and the jury were not in the room.

 

 

2:50 p.m. Lucero's family arrives at courthouse

 

Lucero's mother, Rosario, sister Isabel and brother Joselo arrived outside the courthouse.

Photographers rushed to take their pictures.

There was no indication a verdict was imminent. Shortly before the Luceros appeared, a court reporter finished a readback of testimony that the jury had requested concerning Lucero's stab wound.

 

 

2:38 p.m. Readback of ME's testimony completed

 

A court reporter finished reading a portion of the testimony of former Suffolk County chief deputy medical examiner Stuart Dawson, who performed the autopsy on Lucero in November 2008.

The testimony read in court concerned the stab wound from which Lucero died.

 

 

2:13 p.m. Jury makes more requests

 

State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle read a note from the jury in which the panel asked to see most of the evidence and requested to see a list of witnesses and a list of evidence.

Doyle told jurors he could not by law furnish a list of evidence.

A court reporter began reading the testimony of former Suffolk County chief deputy medical examiner Stuart Dawson, who performed the autopsy on Lucero in November 2008.

Dawson retired in 2009.

 

 

1:40 p.m. Jury to hear ME's testimony

 

The courtroom reopened after an hour-long lunch break.

The jury was not yet in the courtroom.

Jurors were expected to hear readback of testimony by former Suffolk County chief deputy medical examiner Stuart Dawson, who had performed Lucero's autopsy in November 2008.

 

 

12:35 p.m. Lunch break

 

The third-floor courtroom closed for a lunch break. Court officers said the room will reopen at 1:30 p.m.

Jurors have not yet heard the readback of testimony they requested from former Suffolk County chief deputy medical examiner Stuart Dawson.

 

 

11:55 a.m. Jury wants medical examiner's testimony

 

Jurors want to hear the testimony of Stuart Dawson, the former Suffolk County chief deputy medical examiner who testified that the entire 4-inch blade of the knife used to stab Lucero went into his chest and "nicked" an artery and a vein.

Dawson, who retired last year, was chief deputy medical examiner when Lucero was stabbed on Nov. 8, 2008.

He also testified that the knife used to stab Lucero had entered his upper right chest at a sharp angle.

The jury of seven men and five women, which resumed deliberations at 9:45 a.m., also asked to hear the legal definition of "intent."

The requests came about an hour into the panel's discussions Friday morning.

The jury was asked to wait to hear Dawson's testimony until a court reporter located the minutes. The minutes still had not been read as of 12:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle, in his definition of "intent," said prosecutors must show Conroy had a "conscious" objective to kill Lucero, but the killing did not require "premeditation or advance planning" to qualify as second-degree murder.

The judge said Lucero's death had to be foreseeable based on the stabbing to be considered a murder.

 

 

11 a.m. Law prof: "It's very hard to read a jury"

 

Maybe the jury is close to a verdict. Maybe not.

Maybe one juror is holding out. Maybe the panel is split 6-6.

Who knows, says Touro law professor Richard Klein.

"It's very hard to read a jury," Klein said Friday as the jury resumed deliberations for a third day. "To try to understand what's going on is difficult."

The professor, a former criminal defense attorney, said he is surprised the jury has not yet reached a verdict.

"I'm sure the prosecutor's starting to worry here," he said.

So far, the jury's requests have included a reading of the charges and certain testimony, to see Conroy's statement to police, to see pictures of Conroy and his six co-defendants, and to hear legal definitions of "intent" and "acting in concert."

Klein said it may be significant that the jury twice asked to see Conroy's statement to police, in which he confessed to stabbing Lucero.

"That's potentially damaging [to Conroy]," Klein said. "It could be that there's a holdout and they're trying to convince the holdout" to vote for a conviction.

"It's awfully, awfully tough for the jury to overlook a statement like this," he said.

When Conroy testified in his defense, he accused the detective who took the statement of lying about what Conroy had said and said the detective made up certain portions of the statement.

Klein said the trial is a "most fascinating case" and he has followed it closely through media coverage.

 

9:35 a.m. Jeffrey Conroy's dad in court

 

Conroy's father, Robert, walked by about a dozen journalists on the way to the courtroom. "Good morning," he said as photographers snapped pictures and television camera operators aimed their lenses at him.

Conroy, 49, then sat alone in the courtroom with a stack of newspapers on his lap.

The jury had not yet begun deliberating, court officers said.

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