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2nd Day Of Deliberations Ends In Trial Of Man Paralyzed During Traffic Stop

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A third day of jury deliberations will resume Thursday in the trial of Leon Ford, who was paralyzed during a November 2012 traffic stop in the city's East End.

After hours of deliberations Wednesday, including a note to the judge about being deadlocked on several charges, the jury was sent home for the night.

The jury did ask to see the dash cam video once again in the afternoon, this time in slow motion. The video was played in real time, and then frame by frame. They also asked to hear again the definition of reasonable doubt.

Earlier this afternoon, the jury sent a message to Judge Donald Machen which read, "We cannot reach consensus on five of the charges. What do we do now?"

The judge then asked them to try again, as is the usual practice when a jury first tells the judge they are deadlocked.

The jury did not specify which charges are at issue.

Ford faces charges including aggravated assault, three counts of recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and escape.

Earlier, the jury asked two questions of Judge Donald Machen. They wanted the report of a defense expert who testified that Ford's foot could have slipped off the brake as he was struggling with police, and they wanted to see the transcript of that expert's testimony.

However, Judge Machen ruled the jury will not have access to either the expert's report or the transcript of his testimony. They are to rely on their own notes.

On Tuesday, the jury asked to see the dash cam video from the point at which the struggle began to the point the car moves, shots are fired and the car crashes.

During closing arguments, Defense attorney Fred Rabner explained to the jury the four pillars he told them at the beginning of the trial would not be shaken by the prosecution.

During his hour-long argument, Rabner said those four pillars are:

  1. Leon Ford is not Lamont Ford and is not a gang banger.
  2. Officer David Derbish jumped into a moving vehicle and shot and paralyzed an unarmed teenager.
  3. There is no evidence Ford tried to harm the officers.
  4. The officers intentionally did not wear their microphones to hide their conduct.

Prosecutor Rob Schupansky told the jury the defense was deflecting blame, raising issues more proper for a civil lawsuit.

"This case is not about what the officers did. That's a separate matter. This case is about what Leon Ford did," said Schupansky.

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