Jurors to continue deliberations Monday after twice declaring impasse in child rape trial

By EMILY CUTTS

@ecutts_HG

Published: 04-28-2017 2:00 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A jury in a child rape trial will resume deliberations Monday after twice telling a Hampshire Superior Court judge Thursday they could not reach a consensus.

The 12-member jury spent the entire day in deliberations on the case of a former South Hadley man accused of raping a 5-year-old girl.

Guy Bush Jr., 47, of Grand Island, New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. He was arraigned on the charges in October 2014. His first trial ended in a mistrial in May 2016, after the jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday the jury sent a note informing the judge of their situation.

“‘We’ve reviewed the instructions multiple times, both yesterday afternoon and this morning,’” Judge Mary-Lou Rup said, reading the jurors’ note into the court record. “‘We are having difficulty reaching consensus.’”

After reading the note to the attorneys, Rup said it was not an outright indication that the jurors were deadlocked but it certainly seemed to indicate they were having trouble reaching a unanimous conclusion.

The jurors were brought back into the courtroom and given further instruction before being sent back to continue deliberations.

Shortly before 1:45 p.m. the jury sent a second note saying they were still at an impasse having reviewed their instructions, notes and observations.

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“The jury will not reach a unanimous verdict,” the note read.

After receiving further instructions, the jury was sent back to deliberate.

Emotions from members of Bush’s family flared outside of the courtroom following the jurors’ question, with some crying and others speaking in raised voices. The family members have been in court since the jury selection process began.

Between Wednesday afternoon and the close of the day Thursday, the jury had been deliberating for about 12½ hours. There is no judge in superior court Friday, so jurors will not return until Monday.

At the end of the day, Joey Bush, Bush’s brother, said he was still confident.

“God bless the jury. They’re trying. They are not just giving up,” Joey Bush said. “If they (the jury) follow the instructions, they can’t come back guilty.”

Over the course of the two-day trial, the girl, now 20, took the stand to testify as well as two South Hadley Police officers and a research psychologist.

The Gazette generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

This story has been updated. Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.

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