NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) —Four days after getting the case, deadlocked jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial struggled to end their impasse Thursday on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004, the prospect of a mistrial growing larger even as the judge directed them to keep talking.
Still undecided, they wrapped up after 9 p.m. and will resume their work Friday morning.
As deliberations began Thursday morning, the tired and anxious jury told Judge Steven O’Neill around 11:30 a.m. that they were deadlocked.
“We cannot come to unanimous consensus on any of the counts,” the jury said.
However, the judge has told them to keep working.
As the jury entered 40 hours of deliberations, Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyant said, “we’re in the 40th hour, all we’re asking for is to put an end to it right now.
The reaction in the courtroom was flat as prosecutors and defense attorneys were motionless.
Central witness Andrea Constand stared straight on and the body language of some jurors showed frustration.
Cosby’s team applauded jurors for what they said was a careful review and retrial of the evidence in the jury room.
“Hopefully we will get outta here, the way we came in, a not guilty, innocent man,” said Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt.
Following the announcement, the steps outside the Montgomery County courthouse turned into a madhouse.
A two-person drum corps lapped the building and were eventually told to hit the mute button.
There were also heated debates between accusers and those demanding Cosby be vindicated.
The sequestered jury has been at it for over 30 hours since getting the case Monday, pausing a half-dozen times to revisit key evidence, including Cosby’s decade-old admissions that he fondled Constand after giving her pills.
O’Neill has seemed vexed at times as the court staff struggled to answer the jury’s requests. One batch of requested testimony hadn’t even been transcribed yet.
But when jurors asked to stop for the day Wednesday night, O’Neill was effusive with praise – encouraging their diligence as they weigh charges that could put the 79-year-old Cosby in prison for the rest of his life.
“This is an incredible jury that has just acted with incredible dignity and fidelity,” O’Neill said. “I don’t have any higher praise. You have taken your task so seriously.”
Cosby is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each carries a maximum 10-year prison term, though the counts could be merged at sentencing if he is convicted.
The case has already helped demolish his nice-guy reputation as America’s Dad.
Cosby has wavered between stoic and smiling as he awaits his fate, but gave a brief thumbs-up as jurors listened to a court reporter reread his January 2005 police interview.
In it, he claimed Constand showed no ill effects from the 1 1/2 Benadryl pills he gave her to help her relax, and that she never objected to his behavior during the 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia home.
Constand testified last week that she was paralyzed by the pills and unable to fight Cosby off. Her mother, Gianna Constand, pulled a cloth from her pocket to wipe away tears Wednesday as she listened to the testimony.
Cosby’s lawyers maintain Constand was a willing sexual partner.
Some jurors closed their eyes and tilted their heads down as they listened to the police interview. One slunk down in his seat, looking angry.
“Can you find 12 people who will agree? That’s the question,” said criminal lawyer Alan J. Tauber, who wasn’t involved in the case.
“They’ve been here a long time. I’m sure they would like to reach a verdict,” said high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of Cosby’s accusers.
On Thursday, Constand tweeted a video of her shooting baskets in the hallway of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
“Always follow through,” the graphic on the video said.
Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor never proceeded with this case years ago because he said evidence didn’t exist to bring forth a conviction.
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