No decision from jury in Wilk retrial - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

No decision from jury in Wilk retrial

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Jacqueline Wilk (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police) Jacqueline Wilk (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police)

Jurors were unable to come to a decision in the retrial of Jacqueline Wilk for the deaths of her two sons. The trial has been ruled a hung jury mistrial.

Wilk is charged with two counts of Neglect of a Dependent.

The jurors sent the judge a note late Thursday afternoon saying they had not yet come to a unanimous decision in the case even after lengthy deliberation. The judge sent the jury back a note asking if they thought further deliberations would help and if there was anything he could do to assist them in reaching a unanimous decision.

The jury sent a note back, saying they wanted a more clear definition of the word "knowingly," which is used in the state's legal definition of Neglect of a Dependent. The judge sent a note back to the jury saying he could not give them a better definition than what they already had.

About 50 minutes later the jury concluded that they were unable to come to a decision in the guilt of Wilk.  They told the judge they voted three times and each time the vote was 7-5 and no one could be persuaded to change his or her mind. 

This is a similar situation to the first trial, in which jurors were also unable to come to decision.

After everything Thursday, Jury Foreman, Randy Clifton, told FOX28 what they were unable to decide on was whether or not things were done "knowingly and on purpose." 

After the judge said it was a mistrial Wilk hugged her lawyers and said "Thank you."  She seemed relieved.  She would not comment on camera but as she walked out of the courtroom with family and friends, one woman did shout "it's a victory."

Wilk's lawyer, Brendan Lahey, did speak with us but wouldn't say much beyond this, "We're pleased with the verdict.  We thank the jury for their service, it's an incredibly difficult job particularly with this case.  One of the most important jobs in American justice and we thank them for it."  The only other thing he did say was they're ready if prosecutors try the case a third time.  And will they do that?  The prosecution wouldn't talk on camera Thursday to tell us today they have until June 18th to decide.

This is a similar situation to the first trial, in which jurors were also unable to come to decision.

Wilk's two boys, ages 2 and 4, were found locked in the trunk of their mother's car in June 2011, overcome by heat.

 

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