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Day 4 For Van Dam Jury

Jurors deliberating the fate of the man accused of killing Danielle van Dam have adjourned for the day.

The jury of six men and six women deliberating charges against David Westerfield in the abduction and slaying of his neighbor, 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, is to resume its work on Tuesday.

The panel began its work on Thursday and took the weekend off continuing Monday without coming to a resolution.

Westerfield, 50, is accused of abducting Danielle the night of Feb. 1 after her father had put her to bed. The girl's nude and decomposing body was found on Feb. 27, dumped along a rural road east of San Diego.

Investigators were unable to determine the cause of her death.

Westerfield, a divorced, self-employed design engineer, is accused of kidnapping and murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted. He also is charged with possessing child pornography.

Westerfield's lawyer argued in his closing argument that it was the lifestyle of Danielle's parents, which included marijuana use and sex with another couple, that exposed their home to other people who might be responsible for the girl's death.

Brenda and Damon van Dam have admitted smoking marijuana and drinking beer on the night their daughter was kidnapped and said that they had engaged in partner-swapping in the past. Brenda van Dam and two of her female friends also spent that night at a local bar, where they ran into Westerfield.

The three friends went back to the van Dam home with two men they had also met there and one of Brenda's friends briefly climbed into bed with Damon.

"The only thing logical is that when the little girl wakes up she knows who's in there," Feldman said. "If she wakes up and sees (Westerfield) or anyone else, she's going to scream 'Help me mommy, help me daddy."' he said.

Lead defense counsel Steven Feldman said in his closing argument to the jury only someone familiar with the home and known to Danielle could have found their way through the house and into her bedroom in the dark of night and only if the girl had recognized her killer would she have gone with him quietly.

Brenda and Damon van Dam, who testified early in the trial, asserted that their personal conduct had nothing to do with the girl's disappearance.

Defense lawyer Steven Feldman argued that it was "absurd" to suggest Westerfield could have entered the van Dam home and taken the girl without being caught or leaving physical evidence.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek dismissed those arguments as "last chance desperation" that didn't explain how Danielle's fingerprints, blood, and hair ended up in Westerfield's motor home and why strands of her hair were found in the sheets of his bed.

He also reminded jurors that Westerfield took a jacket with Danielle's blood to a dry cleaner two days after she vanished.

"This is the smoking gun ... Danielle's blood on that jacket," he said pointing to a photograph of the coat on a large screen in the courtroom Thursday. "Give me another explanation for how it got here."

Jurors heard testimony from more than 100 witnesses, from friends who partied with Danielle's mother the night of the abduction to entomologists who spoke about how bugs found on the body suggested potential times of death.

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