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  Jury Deliberations in Pastor's Rape Trial Stop for Weekend
FW: Panel Has Sent 21 Notes to Judge in 21 Hours over Four Days

By Jeff Mosier and Debra Dennis
The Dallas Morning News
August 19, 2006

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/
stories/DN-hornbuckle_19met.ART0.North.Edition1.3e5d9e7.html

FORT WORTH The jury in the rape trial of pastor Terry Hornbuckle quit for the weekend after 21 hours of deliberation spread over four days.

The defense and prosecution said there is no indication that the nine-woman, three-man jury is deadlocked. The trial started 2 1/2 weeks ago.

"Jury deliberations are jury deliberations. It's kind of hard to read anything into them," said prosecutor Sean Colston.

Defense attorneys Mike Heiskell and Leon Haley said they have never participated in a trial where the jury has taken this long to reach a verdict. But Mr. Haley said the longer the jury deliberates, the better it is for Mr. Hornbuckle.

"We're glad they've been out that long," Mr. Haley said. "It appears they are looking at all the evidence, and that makes us hopeful."

Mr. Hornbuckle, 44, was indicted last year on charges that he sexually assaulted three women. Jurors started deliberating late Tuesday afternoon and have sent 21 notes to the judge.

They asked to look at evidence and review testimony related to the first two women and also asked the judge for the definitions of "rape" and "burden of proof."

On Friday, jurors asked to look at the lease for an apartment where one of the alleged sexual assaults occurred and review testimony about whether the lights were on when Mr. Hornbuckle masturbated in front of one of the accusers.

The jury also wanted to know whether the mother of one of the accusers spoke to T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House church. The mother testified earlier in the trial that former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders told her that he and Mr. Jakes were trying to get help for Mr. Hornbuckle.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Jakes were on the witness list for the prosecution, but they were never called to testify.

The defense has acknowledged that Mr. Hornbuckle was womanizer and drug-user, but they said he was not a rapist. They said that any sex was consensual.

None of the notes sent by the jury were specifically related to the third woman.

The first two accusers to testify were members of Mr. Hornbuckle's Agape Christian Fellowship church in Arlington.

The third accuser testified that Mr. Hornbuckle drugged and raped her after they smoked methamphetamine. She said she didn't realize that he was a minister.

Mr. Hornbuckle also faces charges of sexual assault, possession of methamphetamine, retaliation and tampering with a witness. He also has been sued by some of his accusers.

E-mail jmosier@dallasnews.com and debdennis@dallasnews.com

 
 

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