WICHITA, Kan. – Jurors are weighing the case of a Kansas commune leader who's accused of killing a member, living off life insurance payments and sexually abusing some members' children.
A Sedgwick County jury received the case Tuesday and deliberated a few hours. They resumed deliberations Wednesday morning.
Daniel Perez is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the 2003 drowning of 26-year-old Patricia Hughes at the group's compound near Wichita. He has denied the allegations.
District Attorney Marc Bennett said during closing arguments that the 55-year-old Perez must be held accountable.
Perez's attorney, Alice Osburn, called Hughes' death "an accident" and pushed for an acquittal.
Jurors are deliberating over 28 counts, including premeditated murder, rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, sexual exploitation of a child and making false information.