AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After more than seven hours of deliberation, the jury in the Bart Reagor trial case continues to be deadlocked. Because of this, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, the federal judge overseeing Reagor’s trial, made the decision, with guidance from both the prosecution and the defense, for the jury to continue deliberation starting at 10 a.m. Friday in Amarillo Federal Court.
This comes after jury members heard final, closing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense Thursday morning, with officials from each side having one more chance to outline why Reagor should be found guilty or not guilty for two counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Reagor pleaded not guilty to the counts in an Amarillo Federal Court appearance in April.
At approximately 3 p.m. Thursday, Kacsmaryk first brought officials from the prosecution and the defense back to the courtroom to share the first two notes the jury sent to the court, consisting of questions, statements or requests the jury wanted to convey to the court.
According to previous reports from MyHighPlains.com, the first note from the jury was for Kacsmaryk to clarify aiding and abetting, a term outlined in the jury charge presented to them Thursday morning. The second note was a request to see Reagor’s indictment, bringing about an objection from the defense, questioning the need for the jury to have the indictment with it not being evidence in the case.
In his ruling, Kacsmaryk stated he was going to provide the original indictment to the jury, further admonishing the fact that the indictment is not evidence. However, he stated based on the jury’s request, they must feel it would be helpful in their deliberation.
Approximately two hours later, officials from the prosecution and the defense came into the courtroom once again. Kacsmaryk then shared a note, stating that the jury was “deadlocked,” and were having trouble reaching a verdict in the case. At that time, Kacsmaryk encouraged the jury in written form to continue deliberations and reach a final verdict if possible, highlighting the work the attorneys have put into the case.
At 5:38 p.m., Kacsmaryk returned to the courtroom with a response from the jury to the court’s response to the deadlock note, with the jury stating the following:
“There is no way we can be unanimous. Can we, at least, be dismissed for the day?”
In response to this note, Kacsmaryk brought the jury into the courtroom, stating that he was going to bring the court into recess until 10 a.m. Friday, where they would continue deliberations. With court beginning at 8 a.m. throughout the week, Kacsmaryk said he moved the start time back two hours because of travel time for some jurors, as well as hoping that cooler heads will ultimately prevail during Friday’s deliberation, ultimately bringing a verdict in the case.
As he has done numerous times during the case, Kacsmaryk continued to admonish the jury not to conduct independent research as well as be exposed to various media accounts of the case.
After the jury left, Kacsmaryk told officials with the prosecution and the defense that if the jury continues to be deadlocked, the court has the intention to proceed with a modified Allen Charge, a charge that a judge would give to the jury for further effort to reach a verdict in the case.
Officials from both the prosecution and the defense stated that they would like to see the jury continue their deliberation and see how the case plays out.
This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates