Watch CBS News

Jury dismissed for weekend in double murder trial of Emanuel Lopes

Jury dismissed for weekend in double murder trial of Emanuel Lopes
Jury dismissed for weekend in double murder trial of Emanuel Lopes 02:42

DEDHAM - The exhausted family of Weymouth Police Sergeant Michael Chesna left Norfolk Superior Courthouse in Dedham facing another weekend without a verdict.

His father, Charles Chesna, would only say it's been frustrating, adding the family couldn't comment at this time. Inside the courtroom, the toll on his family was apparent, some overcome at times by the wait, waiting for the jury to decide if Emanuel Lopes is a murderer or mentally ill. 

"I do appreciate everybody's patience, this is a sensitive matter," said Judge Beverly Cannone before calling numerous sidebars as there was an apparent issue with a juror that was unclear.  Each one was called to the bench to speak with the judge with case law on both sides for how to handle a struggling juror.

"One side might want to reduce to a number where a mistrial has to be declared if there aren't enough jurors to reach a verdict.  A lot of that depends on how each side feels the case is going now," said attorney Benjamin Urbelis.

The double murder trial began one month ago. Lopes is charged with shooting and killing Sgt. Chesna with his own service gun following a minor car crash five years ago, then killing 77-year-old Vera Adams, who was in the sunroom of her Weymouth home as Lopes allegedly fled the scene.

Jurors, who were empaneled in Worcester to ensure an impartial jury, have been transported to the courthouse by bus nearly two hours each day for the trial. If they are deadlocked, the judge can issue final instructions to help them reach a conclusion.

"The judge would first give a dynamite charge, which really pushes the jury to reach a unanimous decision and instructs them on the ramifications of what a mistrial would be," said Urbelis.

Jurors received the case last week, but since an alternate had to replace a juror with a prior commitment this week, deliberations had to begin again.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.