MonView Heights Double Murder Deliberations To Resume Wednesday
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The jury will continue deliberations Wednesday in the trial of a man accused in a double homicide at a West Mifflin housing complex.
For the second time Tuesday, an Allegheny County jury told a judge they couldn’t reach an agreement on a verdict in the fatal shooting; and for the second time, the judge told the jury to keep trying.
The issue is circumstantial versus physical evidence regarding Richard Krista, of Homestead, who was 20 when he was accused of gunning down Cody Ruder and Joseph Sherrill in 2012.
A first trial regarding just what happened in the MonView Heights housing complex in West Mifflin ended in a hung jury.
In this trial, the prosecution put on witnesses who testify they heard Krista say he’d use a gun if he had to in a dispute over a girlfriend.
However, the defense reminded the jury they’d seen no physical evidence that Krista pulled the trigger.
Last week, before testimony ended, the jury went to the scene to see firsthand where the shootings happened.
But this morning, around 11 a.m., they told Judge Joseph Williams they were deadlocked. The judge though told them to try again, and deliberations resumed.
Then, at 1:57 p.m. came this message from the jury claiming deadlock for a second time today: “The majority has reached a decision. A small group cannot be convinced. We do not see the possibility of a unanimous decision.”
But Judge Williams replied: “Juries always say that. I hope that you will work as hard as the attorneys for both sides did during this weeklong trial. We hope you can reach a decision without doing harm to your sense of justice.”
The jury of 10 women and two men were dismissed for the day late this afternoon. They will resume deliberations Wednesday.
The jury first got the case around 1 p.m. Friday and resumed deliberations today after the holiday weekend.