Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Another day of intense deliberations in the third trial for one of two men accused of a gruesome crime: the murders of three young children. The jury is struggling to agree.
Mike Hellgren has the latest on deliberations.
We know they reached an agreement on one count, but we don’t know which count or whether it’s innocent or guilty. Jurors have been struggling with the remaining two counts.
They have been deliberating for more than 15 hours. At this point, it looks like they will come back and continue deliberating Tuesday morning.
For three days the jury has deliberated Policarpio Espinoza Perez’s fate. For most of that time they’ve been deadlocked.
One note jurors sent to the judge read “we’re hopelessly hung.”
Monday afternoon they revealed they agreed on one count of three but wouldn’t say which one: first-degree murder, second-degree murder or conspiracy.
The crime was brutal. Three children– all relatives of Espinoza Perez– were found dead in an apartment in Northwest Baltimore.
The boys were beaten with a bat. They were all almost decapitated with a long sharp kitchen knife.
It happened almost a decade ago, and what makes this case so unusual is not only how long it’s gone on but also the number of trials.
This is the third for Espinoza Perez. His first ended in a hung jury. His conviction in a second trial was overturned on appeal.
This is the third trial and the first without Adan Canela– another relative accused of killing the children with him.
Canela will go on trial for the third time April 1.
The separate trials allow Espinoza Perez’s defense attorneys to point suspicion at Canela as the sole killer.
The father of two of the victims does not believe either Espinoza Perez or Canela killed his children.
“I don’t think my brother and my nephew did it,” Ricardo Espinoza said. “I never. I never.”
Another mystery is the motive. Prosecutors have hinted at romantic jealousy among family members, but told the jury in closing arguments that it doesn’t matter why the children were killed only that the person who did it is punished.
If the jury is hung on the other two counts, prosecutors can keep retrying the case until they get a verdict.
Stay with WJZ and CBSBaltimore.com for updates on a verdict.