Illinois' murder trial of the century

Peterson Jurors' 5th Question: "What Does Unanimous Mean?"

Question comes as jurors reach 12th hour of deliberations in Drew Peterson murder trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    UPDATE: Jury Convicts Drew Peterson in Death of Third Wife, Kathleen Savio

    As deliberations reached the 12-hour mark in the Drew Peterson murder trial, jurors came back Thursday with another question, their fifth.

    "What does unanimous mean?"

    One juror, Ron Supalo, later claimed the question was sent by a single juror, during lunch, without the knowledge of the rest of the group. He declined to elaborate.

    Still, Judge Edward Burmila told jurors that "unanimous" meant agreed to by all. The state wanted the judge to refer them to the jury instructions.

    What did the question mean? Attorney Joe Lopez was heard saying he'd seen that type of question three times in previous trials and each time it meant a "not guilty" verdict. Defense attorney Ralph Meczyk said he thought it meant the jury would be hung.

    Jurors returned Thursday for their second day of deliberating after hearing five weeks of testimony and reaching no verdict a day earlier.

    Peterson, 58, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found in a bathtub in 2004.

    Defense attorney Joel Brodsky told reporters before entering the courthouse that his client was in good spirits and prepared for the verdict.

    "He knows he's innocent," Brodsky said Thursday morning. "[He] hopes he's not guilty because he knows he's not guilty."

    Jurors asked a string of questions Wednesday, requesting photos, transcripts, phone records and a letter written by Savio. Burmila allowed jurors access to phone records from the weekend Savio died, as well as autopsy photos but decided against giving them the transcripts of two state witnesses.

    The jurors also requested dinner ordered in as they deliberated a little longer before heading home for the night.

    "Another day of waiting," Brodsky said. "He's been in jail three-and-a-half years, so it's not like he hasn't thought about this day, if it is today."

    It was. Shortly after jurors received their answer from the judge, they returned to the courtroom and delivered a guilty verdict.