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What If The Potter Trial Jury Doesn't Reach A Verdict Before Christmas Break?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- There was still no verdict as the fourth day of deliberations in the Kim Potter trial got underway Thursday morning. The jury began around 8:40 a.m.

Jurors have now spent over 24 hours across the past three days discussing the case as the Christmas holiday looms.

Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer, shot and killed Daunte Wright in April and was charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter. She has said she meant to use her Taser instead of her handgun.

If the jury in Potter's trial can't reach a decision, there would likely be a mistrial. The state would then have the option to re-try the case, which likely wouldn't happen for several months.

However, the question of the impending holiday adds another wrinkle of uncertainty to the process. As Judge Regina Chu has stated from the bench during jury selection, the intention is that the jurors would be allowed to spend time with their family and friends during the Christmas break, starting Friday and then returning Monday morning.

That would represent a halt in their current sequestration.

Attorney Joe Tamburino, who is not affiliated with the case, says that would open the door for a possible mistrial.

"I know of no law allowing a judge to un-sequester a sequestered jury. Additionally, the defense would object -- or should object -- in order to preserve the issue for appeal in case Potter is convicted," Tamburino said. "Think of the problems if the judge lets the jury go home for the weekend and on Monday they come back and convict Potter ... it would defeat the purpose of sequestering the jury in the first place."

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