Jurors Sort Through More Evidence But Reach No Verdict In Peterson Trial
Posted October 9, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006
DURHAM, N.C. — In the second full day of deliberations, jurors in the Mike Peterson trial were unable to reach a verdict. However, there did appear to be some signs of tension among members of the jury
Five of the jurors appeared to be frustrated. One juror came out of the deliberation room and quickly sat down in his chair. Another could be seen sighing as he quickly walked out of the courtroom ahead of the other jurors.
For the first time since the trial began, jurors did not ask to take their usual morning and afternoon breaks. They only knocked on the door once and asked for a flip chart, paper, and markers. The jurors ended deliberations for the day just after 3 p.m.
Mike Peterson is charged with the death of his wife, Kathleen, at their home in December 2001.
Jurors apparently wanted a closer look at the layout. They asked for a diagram of the Peterson mansion. They also asked to see pictures of the front door, the hallway and the kitchen fireplace.
Deputies delivered several articles of clothing to the jury room. Jurors asked to see Kathleen Peterson's bloody sweatpants and sweatshirt. They wanted to look over the shoeprint found on the back of her pants, and they asked to see the lab report written by SBI agents who examined the pants.
Jurors also took another look at Mike Peterson's shoes and khaki shorts. Prosecutors believe blood spatter inside the shorts places Peterson in the stairwell at the time of a beating.
The significance of Peterson's sex life may be on jurors' minds as they asked to see the e-mails he sent to a male escort. They also requested the autopsy pictures of Elizabeth Ratliff, Mike Peterson's friend who died in 1985 in Germany.
Pictures of the staircase where Kathleen Peterson's body was found also piqued the jury's interest. Twelve pictures of her body sprawled in the stairwell went into the deliberation room as well as 17 autopsy pictures that show the deep cuts on the back of her head.
Earlier in the day, jurors asked that a paper flip chart be brought into the deliberation room. For the first time since the trial began, the jury did not ask to take their usual morning and afternoon breaks.
On Tuesday, jurors asked for a copy of District Attorney Jim Hardin's opening statement, but their request was denied by Judge Orlando Hudson.
Hudson told the jury that opening statements were not considered evidence, and they would have to rely on their memory instead.