Thursday, 4:30 PM
Seventh day of deliberations complete in Worthington with no verdict
By Megan Tench, Globe Staff
The jury in the Christa Worthington murder trial has completed the seventh day of deliberations in the high-profile case on Cape Cod without reaching a verdict.
The 12-member panel of seven women and five men left the court just before 5 p.m. for an undisclosed hotel where they will remain sequestered for their second day. Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson allowed any jurors who are parents to arrange visits this evening with their children at the hotel.
On Tuesday, Nickerson dismissed a juror and ordered an alternate who has not been participating in deliberations to join the panel. The addition of the alternate forced the jury to begin its deliberations from scratch on Monday and reconsider all the evidence presented during nearly three weeks of testimony.
Worthington, 46, was found in her home in January 2002 lying half-naked on the kitchen floor, dead from a stab wound to the chest. Her trash collector, Christopher M. McCowen, 34, faces aggravated rape, burglary and murder charges and could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious counts.
This afternoon, the jury asked the judge if police were allowed to record interrogations. At issue is a six-hour interview of McCowen in which state police investigators say the defendant admitted that he beat the victim the night she died after they had had consensual sex. McCowen claimed, according to police, that a friend who was with him that night in Worthington's Truro home was the real killer.
The interrogation, which police did not record, was criticized by the defense who alleged that detectives tried to pressure McCowen into a confession.
The jury asked if, "police officers have the option to record a statement," in a written note passed to the judge.
"Yes, they do have the option," said Nickerson, who explained that state law required that a person be notified that they are being recorded.
On Friday, jurors asked Nickerson to redefine "reasonable doubt."