It's day 9 of deliberations for priest sex-abuse trial jury

Posted: June 16, 2012

Jurors are back in court this morning for their ninth day of deliberations in the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

They started an hour behind schedule after a juror showed up late.

They began the day with Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina re-instructing them on the landmark conspiracy and child endangerment charges against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the archdiocese's former secretary of clergy.

It appears that based on their questions the jurors have changed their focus to Lynn after considering attempted rape charges against his codefendant, the Rev. James J. Brennan.

The jurors have spent more than 30 hours behind closed doors since deliberations began June 1, and have peppered the judge and lawyers with 25 questions and evidence requests.

The pace of deliberations has clearly frustrated the lawyers — one reportedly smashed his cellphone against a wall outside the courtroom this week. But the judge said she was reluctant to push a jury that has not signaled any sort of deadlock.

"I don't know what process they are using; that's left to their discretion," Sarmina said. "It's the jury system. We put it in their hands."

Contact John P. Martin at 215-854-4774, at jmartin@phillynews.com or follow @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

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