Jurors in the murder trial of Louis Cardona “Butch” Buggs might not be able to rule on whether Buggs killed University student Kami Talley at her workplace in Northeast Minneapolis last Valentine’s Day.
“We have a jury that’s having a hard time in making a decision,” said Judge H. Peter Albrecht.
He also said that if the jury can’t come to a decision soon, he will be forced to declare the case a mistrial because of a hung jury. This would mean that the trial, including the process of jury selection, would have to start over.
Albrecht said that if jurors weren’t working actively on the case during the next few days, he would probably make his decision about a mistrial by Friday.
“I doubt (the deliberations) would go that long, but it might,” Albrecht said.
Albrecht told relatives of both Buggs and Talley that he is doing what he can to push the jury to work on expediting their decision.
One reason jurors are stalled on achieving a verdict is that Albrecht twice denied them access to transcripts of earlier testimonies of four police officers, including Sgt. Carl McCarthy, who tended to Talley as she lay dying. McCarthy testified on Jan. 28 that while he was caring for Talley he asked who had done this to her, to which she replied “Butch” and then “Buggs.”
Albrecht said he denied access to the transcripts because he didn’t want jurors focusing on one person’s testimony more than anyone else’s.
Family members from both sides also spent the day waiting outside the courtroom for a verdict. As jury deliberation carried on before resting for the night, both sides anxiously awaited a decision.
— Jim Martyka and Andrew Tellijohn