Still no verdict in Devin Jefferson case

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The jury deliberated for hours but failed to reach a verdict Saturday in the case of Devin Jefferson, the man accused of masterminding a plot that ended in the death of a University of Memphis football player.

The jury spent about eight and a half hours behind closed doors.  They asked for three smoke breaks, but never asked the judge a single question.

Jefferson was charged with first degree in perpetration of a robbery.  Prosecutors argued he masterminded the robbery that went bad and ended in the death of Taylor Bradford.

Jimmie Bradford, Taylor Bradford's father, was wearing his son's bowl ring.

"They went to a bowl game," he said.  "The following season, Coach West and the players presented the ring to me, I came down thinking I was just going to a ball game.  So I just wear it on special occasions."

The jury got tired around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.  They decided to continue deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

Prosecutors said Jefferson did not need to intend to kill Bradford or be present at the murder scene for him to be guilty of first degree murder in a perpetration of robbery.

The defense argued that the three other defendants in Bradford's murder changed Jefferson's plan and brought a gun without Jefferson's knowledge.  Those defendants are also charged with murder and will be on trial at a later date.

The jury's instructions state, "when one enters into a scheme with others to commit a robbery and death ensues, all defendants are responsible for the death, regardless of who actually committed the killing and whether the killing was contemplated by the others."

For the Bradford family, the wait for just continued.

"We'll just wrap this thing up and go home tomorrow," Jimmie Bradford said.  "Try to make it there before dark."

The trial against Jefferson lasted four days.  The defense rested its case Friday without calling a single witness.

Jefferson did not want to testify in his own defense.

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