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Jury in deliberations in NPD trial

NATCHEZ — Day six of a trial of two Natchez Police officers recessed after eight hours of deliberation with no verdict and a fatigued-looking jury.

The jury will continue deliberations at 9 a.m. today.

Just before 5 p.m., the jury filed in the courtroom so federal Judge David Bramlette could address the jury’s handwritten note asking how long they were required to deliberate Tuesday.

Bramlette dismissed the jury just before 5 p.m. and instructed jurors not to discuss the case until all 12 jurors return to the deliberation room today.

The 13th, alternate juror, a black male, was dismissed Tuesday morning after attending five days of the trail.

The jury is composed of six black women, four white women and two black men.

The jurors were pulled from a pool summoned from the entire Southern District.

Jurors were summoned to the case from the entire Southern district of Mississippi.

Of the 12 jurors, several are from Natchez and Vicksburg and one is from as far away as Yazoo City.

The public was asked to clear the courtroom twice Tuesday to allow the jury to review security camera footage evidence.

The first video the jury requested to see showed Patricia Wilson at Walmart in Vidalia attempting to use a credit card that her cousin Dewayne Johnson allegedly gave to her.

The second series of videos were taken from outside the NPD jail and in the booking area from May 23, 2009, the morning of the alleged beatings of the Ellard brothers.

Defendant Elvis Prater’s Attorney George Lucas said after the jury recessed for the day that juries decide themselves if they are deadlocked and cannot reach a verdict, which would result in a mistrial.

Prater was indicted Aug. 20 on two counts of civil rights violations.

Johnson was indicted Aug. 20 for civil rights violations for witnessing the alleged brutality and failing to protect people in custody. Johnson was also indicted on one count of credit card theft and one count of conspiracy to use it.

Both also face charges of lying to the FBI.

The jury has not been sequestered — with the exception of during lunch Tuesday — and jurors have been driving home each day.

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