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Jury starting over in Phoenix temple killings case

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In court Monday, Jonathan Doody sat through closing arguments. (Source: CBS 5 News) In court Monday, Jonathan Doody sat through closing arguments. (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

A jury in the re-trial of a man charged in the 1991 killings of nine people at a suburban Phoenix Buddhist temple went home for the day Thursday.

They won't resume deliberations until Monday, Oct. 14 at 10:30 a.m.

The jury is starting over. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge instructed the jury, including an alternate juror, on Thursday that they are essentially a new jury and must start from the beginning.

Judge Joseph Kreamer told the panel to set aside any preliminary or final decisions they may have come to while debating the case against 39-year-old Johnathan A. Doody.

On Wednesday, a female juror was dismissed after telling the presiding judge the trial was too emotional for her.

The trial began Aug. 12, and jurors began deliberations Sept. 24.

Prosecutors said evidence against Doody shows only he and an accomplice, who testified against him, were responsible.

Prosecutor Jason Kalish told jurors in his closing arguments Monday that Doody planned "for weeks if not months ahead of time" to rob the temple monks and kill any potential witnesses.

Kalish also said accomplice Allesandro "Alex" Garcia told the truth when he testified that Doody masterminded the plan.

Doody's defense lawyer said jurors should not believe the key witness against him.

Attorney Maria Schaffer told jurors in her closing arguments that only an admitted killer's testimony supports the prosecutors' case against Doody.

Schaffer told jurors that the state made a "deal with the devil" when it offered a plea agreement with Garcia.

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday. The defense then rested its case just a few minutes later, without calling any witnesses.

"It doesn't surprise me," said attorney, professor and author Gary Stuart, who has followed this case closely. "The evidence, arguably, is very weak against him, so he has very little to gain by taking the witness stand."

Stuart even wrote a book about the trial called Innocent Until Interrogated.

"Will this jury believe the codefendant without the confession, without any forensic evidence, without anything to place him with hard evidence at the scene at the time?" Stuart asked.

Doody's conviction was overturned in 2008 because of a questionable confession, and now the accused killer is being retried in Superior Court.

During opening statements, the case was almost declared a mistrial after a news photographer covering the trial for five Phoenix TV stations inadvertently shot video of the jury.

The video was posted over the Internet as part of a live coverage news stream.

It was also reposted on YouTube.

The video clip showing the jurors lasts for about 30 seconds. It is a wide shot from the back of the room, and it is extremely difficult to make out any of the jurors' faces.

Judge Joseph Kreamer showed the jury a still photo of the video that was released over the Internet and asked the group if they could continue their duty as jurors.

All of the jurors indicated they did not have a problem with the case moving forward.

Doody's attorney, Maria Schaffer, asked for a mistrial, but that request was denied.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • UPDATEJury starting over in Phoenix temple killings caseMore>>

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