Deliberations in trial of Katy girl accused of killing her dad to continue on Monday

February 3, 2012 3:37:31 PM PST
The jury deliberating the case of a Katy teen accused of murdering her dad was still unable to reach verdict and has been ordered back to continue working on Monday.

Jurors debated for the third day on Friday and only sent out one question. That question centered around the day Mark Nelson was murdered.

A defense expert testified at trial that earlier in the day Nelson stood in the bathroom of his Katy home, watching his daughter bathe. Defense attorneys say she screamed for her father to leave and he threatened her for doing so. So she remained in the tub, they say, until her dad fell asleep.

"She was scared to death of what was gonna happen next -- it was either gonna be sexual assault or some violent forceful attack," said defense attorney Windi Akins Pastorini.

Nelson was shot in the head with his own gun while he slept in April of 2009. Police recovered his .38 caliber revolver at the scene. The girl's attorneys claim she killed him after years physical and sexual abuse.

But this notion of self-defense is rejected by prosecutors. They claim the girl simply thought Nelson was too strict, noting that she never cried out about the alleged abuse the day of the murder or even within a short time after.

The fact that this jury has not yet reached a verdict tells our legal analyst the jury is divided on the facts of the case and motivation for the shooting.

"My sense is that this jury is not leaning towards guilty. They're probably leaning towards acquittal, but they don't have a unanimous result yet," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.

As such, they continue to deliberate inside the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center -- the fate of a teenage girl in their hands.

If convicted, the girl could face a vast range of punishment, ranging from probation to up to 40 years in custody.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this story.


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