The jurors who will decide the cocaine and perjury case against D.C. Mayor Marion Barry completed their third day of deliberations yesterday without reaching a verdict and without sending out any notes that might indicate how much progress they have made.
Throughout the day, deputy U.S. marshals and court security officers kept watch outside Courtroom 2, where the jury has been viewing the more than 100 exhibits introduced during the trial. It could not be determined yesterday whether the jury has asked to view any of the videotapes, including the 83-minute tape of the Jan. 18 Vista Hotel sting.
The jury has spent about 20 hours in deliberations since it received the case Thursday.
Before the jury started its deliberations, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson told them in his instructions that they were free to return verdicts on any of the 14 charges piecemeal, before deciding the remaining charges. At the same time, the judge told the jurors that they should not hesitate to re-examine their views or change their opinions during deliberations.
The jury's deliberations could be complicated by the volume of evidence presented in the case. On Saturday, the jurors asked to see all of the exhibits and more than 5,000 pages of transcripts of testimony. During closing arguments, both defense lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Roberts referred to specific page numbers in the transcript where they said various passages supported their arguments.
The jurors, who were not allowed to take notes during the arguments, have not asked for a list of those page numbers.
Meanwhile, the mayor spent the day in his District Building office working on routine city affairs, breaking for lunch at Duke Zeibert's with his chief of staff, Maudine R. Cooper, said Barry press secretary Lurma Rackley.
Rackley said Barry is to maintain much the same schedule today, although he may make time for artist Monica Eller to present him with a bust of the mayor that she recently sculpted.
Eller was to unveil one version of the Barry likeness, which depicted him in a negative light, outside U.S. District Court yesterday, but had a "change of heart" and sculptured a "nicer, more sophisticated one of him," Rackley said.
Barry may allow Eller to present the bust in a brief ceremony at the District Building, Rackley said.
One of the charges against Barry, conspiracy to possess cocaine, could have the potential for lengthening jury deliberations.
The essence of the conspiracy charge, according to Jackson's instructions, is that Barry agreed with at least one other person to possess cocaine and that either of them took action to carry out the agreement. The problem for the jurors is that at least 13 so-called co-conspirators were named during the trial, and Jackson told the jurors that they all must agree on the identity of at least one of the alleged co-conspirators.
Barry also is facing 10 counts of cocaine possession and three counts of perjury.
Jackson instructed the jurors not to indicate in their notes how they stand on the question of guilt or innocence until after they have reached a verdict.
Deliberations are scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. today.
Staff writer R.H. Melton and researcher Ben Iannotta contributed to this report.