FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida judge declared a mistrial in a murder case on Wednesday after the jury delivered a verdict of manslaughter, only to have its decision collapse when a juror told the court she didn't agree.
The jurors were told to keep trying for a fifth day of deliberations, but they sent a note from the jury room shortly before noon Wednesday saying they remained deadlocked. Broward Circuit Judge John J. Murphy then shook their hands, thanked them for their service and said a new jury would be picked for a retrial in January.
Dayonte Resiles, 27, remains charged with first-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of Jill Halliburton Su, who was bound at her hands and feet, forced into a bathtub and stabbed about 25 times during a burglary of her Fort Lauderdale home on Sept. 8, 2014.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence placed Resiles at the scene of the 59-year-old woman's killing.
Resiles pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers questioned whether the genetic evidence had been contaminated.
Jurors had to decide between innocence, manslaughter carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years, or a murder conviction that could result in Resiles getting the death penalty, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
On Tuesday evening, they delivered a verdict of manslaughter. It is customary to poll each juror to confirm their agreement. The first juror questioned emphatically said “No,” leaving the victim's husband, Nan Yao Su, and her family and friends in shock.
Resiles also faces criminal charges from a 2016 escape attempt. Resiles unlocked his shackles and fled from a hearing at the courthouse, resulting in a six-day manhunt. After he was recaptured, he wrote the court insisting he fled because he is innocent, the newspaper reported.