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Jury in ex-officer’s trial ends 3rd day without a verdict

December 10, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A jury considering the fate of a former Oklahoma City police officer charged with raping or sexually victimizing 13 women inquired about its instructions but offered few clues into the deliberations, which ended late Wednesday night without a verdict.

Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy Henderson declined to elaborate on the nature of the jurors’ questions while deliberations continue, but said such questions are not unusual.

“We’ve got a lot of instructions in this case,” Henderson said.

Henderson spent more than an hour on Monday giving jurors instructions on the 36 counts against former police officer Daniel Holtzclaw that include rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and indecent exposure. The charges involve 13 women who accuse the officer of sexually victimizing them in the low-income neighborhoods he patrolled on the city’s northeast side.

Holtzclaw, who turns 29 on Thursday, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted on any of six first-degree rape charges.

The jury, which is being sequestered, met for nearly 13 hours Wednesday before disbanding around 11:15 p.m. That brings to 34 the number of hours the panel has deliberated over the course of three days. They are set to resume Thursday morning.

Henderson and lead prosecutor Gayland Gieger said Wednesday it’s the longest jury deliberations in any case they’ve been involved in.

The victims say they encountered Holtzclaw while he was on duty, and prosecutors say the ex-officer intimidated them into not reporting his crimes. Holtzclaw’s lawyer, Scott Adams, portrayed him as a model officer and questioned the credibility of the women who testified against him.

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