Jurors Attempt to Overcome Deadlock in Mutilated Baby Case

Jurors in the capital murder trial of a woman accused of cutting off her baby's arms sent the judge a note Thursday saying they were deadlocked, but they were instructed to continue deliberating.

The note came on the second day of deliberations in the trial of Dena Schlosser, 37, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of her 10-month-old daughter Maggie. Prosecutors are seeking a conviction and a life sentence.

Jurors said they were deadlocked after about 14 hours of deliberations. The judge earlier Thursday declined a request from the jury for portions of the opening statements and closing arguments because they aren't evidence.

The defense says Schlosser didn't know right from wrong during the November 2004 slaying and want her committed to a state mental hospital.

Jurors deliberated for nine hours Wednesday, stopping to ask the judge to read back testimony from a Plano police officer who described how Schlosser screamed, prayed and begged for forgiveness in a hospital the day her daughter died.

Police found Schlosser soaked in blood, holding a knife and listening to a hymn as the baby lay dying in her crib.

Jurors also wanted to hear again a doctor's definition of schizoaffective disorder, a condition Schlosser was diagnosed with that involves delusions and severe mood swings.

Earlier today jurors asked the judge to supply a copy of portions of the prosecution's opening and closing statements regarding the defendant's mental illness.

But the judge denied the request, saying the arguments don't constitute evidence and can only be heard in court.

During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Bill Dobiyanski displayed a bloody kitchen knife and urged jurors to hold Schlosser accountable for the death of her daughter. He said psychiatrists were merely taking educated guesses when they testified Schlosser didn't know right from wrong.

Defense attorney Bill Schultz said the case comes down to whether Schlosser knew the attack was wrong. He asked the defendant to stand before jurors. He also said prosecutors have no business questioning medical professionals.

Deliberations began yesterday.