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Jurors stall on deliberations, plan to continue Thursday

MINOT, N.D. - Jurors in the Moe Gibbs' murder trial have gone home for the day, wrapping up their second full day of deliberations. The seven women and five men plan to return Thursday to continue discussion the case. Closing arguments ended in t...

MINOT, N.D. - Jurors in the Moe Gibbs' murder trial have gone home for the day, wrapping up their second full day of deliberations.

The seven women and five men plan to return Thursday to continue discussion the case. Closing arguments ended in the case Monday.

The jury also spent time today in the courtroom, apparently to ask at least one question about the case. It's unclear what question the jury might have in the case as the public and reporters were not allowed into the courtroom for the question.

On Tuesday, Southeast Judicial District Judge John Paulson told attorneys that he didn't want jurors to feel like their questions are being scrutinized by the media, said Barnes County State's Attorney Brad Cruff, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Jurors returned to the jury room around 8:15 a.m. this morning to continue deliberations after spending a full day on Tuesday and more than an hour on Monday discussing the case. The jury is working on trying to reach an unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty.

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The start of deliberations Thursday marks the 11th full day of the trial, excluding jury selection.

On Tuesday, family, friends and attorneys on both sides of the Moe Maurice Gibbs murder trial left the courthouse with the case unresolved. In the morning, jurors went back into the courtroom to watch a video of Gibbs being interviewed by investigators that was originally played last week.

The roughly 90-minute portion of the video depicts the former Barnes County jailer repeatedly denying any involvement in Mindy Morgenstern's Sept. 13, 2006 death.

He also makes inconsistent statements from other testimony and tells investigators he "could care less about DNA," despite their finding of his on Morgenstern.

Attorneys in the case battled over what that DNA meant - whether it was coincidental or the result of a struggle with Morgenstern - and must now wait to see which side the jury believed.

Gibbs is facing a Class AA felony murder charge for the death of Morgenstern, a 22-year-old Valley City State University senior who was found dead in her apartment.

Gibbs, a 34-year-old Barnes County jailer at the time of his arrest, lived in the same building as Morgenstern.

He faces a maximum sentence of life without parole if convicted.

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