CANTON, Ohio – Jurors in the trial of a former police officer charged with killing his pregnant lover and their unborn child deliberated day and night without reaching a verdict Thursday, offering a hint that they were going through evidence item by item.
Jurors in the case against Bobby Cutts Jr. in the death of Jessie Davis worked with a five-page list of trial exhibits that they had requested from the judge. Jurors, who have been sequestered in a hotel at night, will deliberate for a fourth day Friday.
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Jurors didn't indicate why they needed the list detailing DNA evidence, crime-scene photos, investigation reports and phone records for Cutts and Davis. They expressed specific interest in what was inside Davis' purse found on the kitchen floor of her northeast Ohio home.
In an after-hours request Wednesday night, jurors asked the judge what might happen if they had all signed off on a verdict in one of the most serious charges — an aggravated murder count accusing Cutts of intentionally causing Davis' death.
They wanted to know if a juror who might need to be released Thursday could be replaced by an alternate and, if so, whether they would have to start deliberations over. The judge said no, according to copies of jury notes released Thursday.
The jury later sent the judge another note and said without elaboration that the issue had been resolved.
The jury is considering two other aggravated murder counts, one involving the termination of a pregnancy and the other involving the death of a viable, unborn child. They also must determine whether Cutts is guilty of aggravated burglary, two counts of gross abuse of a corpse and child endangering.
Cutts, who resigned as a Canton patrolman after his arrest, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
If convicted of aggravated murder, Cutts, 30, could receive a death sentence, life in prison without parole or life with parole eligibility after 20, 25 or 30 years. The count includes intent to kill with prior calculation and design.
Cutts testified that he accidentally killed Davis, who was carrying their second child, with a blow to the throat as he attempted to leave her home against her wishes.
Cutts acknowledged wrapping Davis' body in a comforter, putting it in his truck and dumping it in a park. Then he waited nine days to tell authorities her body's location as thousands searched for her.
Prosecutors say Cutts strangled Davis, 26, to avoid making child support payments for a fourth child. Besides being the father of Davis' toddler son and unborn daughter, Cutts also has a child with his ex-wife and a child with a former girlfriend.