Jury in Zysk trial indicates problems agreeing

Joseph Zysk is charged with killing girlfriend's son, 3.
Joseph Zysk is charged with killing girlfriend's son, 3.
Posted: April 02, 2014

PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia jury said Monday that it was deadlocked on third-degree murder, the most serious count facing Joseph Zysk, the Roxborough man charged in the 2011 beating death of his girlfriend's crying 3-year-old son.

The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men, however, gave no indication it had considered the lesser count of involuntary manslaughter.

Judge Linda Carpenter told the jurors they could consider either count first and move to the other if they decided the prosecution had not proved the first charge they reviewed.

A half-hour later, in a move that angered the dead child's maternal grandmother, who stormed from the courtroom, the jury decided to end its second full day of deliberations and return Tuesday morning.

Earlier Monday, the jury asked Carpenter several times to re-explain the legal term malice, the element that distinguishes third-degree murder from involuntary manslaughter.

Malice involves a desire to hurt an individual where the injury proves fatal. In involuntary manslaughter, the death is caused by a spontaneous act performed in sudden anger.

Zysk, 30, admitted punching Jason Larkin Jr. two or three times in the side on Jan. 15, 2011, in what he said was an act of frustration because he could not sleep and the toddler was crying.

An autopsy showed the blows pushed the child's liver against his spine, cutting the organ and causing Jason to die of internal bleeding.


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

www.inquirer.com/crimeandpunishment

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|