Jury deliberates fate of man accused in Dilworth bar murder

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Jurors spent hours Thursday deliberating the fate of a former University of North Carolina football player on trial, accused of murder.

Kenan Gay is accused of pushing Robert Kingston into the path of an oncoming car outside a Dilworth bar two years ago, killing him.

After seven hours of deliberations over the past two days, there's still no decision. The judge sent the jury home around 4:45 p.m. Thursday and they will pick back up Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Twelve jurors must vote unanimously, deciding whether Gay is guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter or not guilty at all, in the death of Kingston

Inside the courtroom Thursday, the mood was relaxed.

Gay had been sitting off and on with his family, laughing and talking.
 
His lawyers told Channel 9 it's important for them to keep the mood light at what is one of the most challenging times for both sides involved in this case.

Kingston's family, who has been in the courtroom for the trial, was sitting someplace else while the jury formed a decision.  

Gay's defense team told Channel 9 they would rather have had just two choices for the jury to consider: second-degree murder or not guilty.

But this week, the court added involuntary manslaughter as an option for jurors to weigh.

James Wyatt, a defense attorney not affiliated with this case, said more options can make it more difficult for the jury to come to a decision.

“The involuntary manslaughter charge gives the jury a chance to compromise, which generally defendants and defense attorneys don't want in a case,” said Wyatt.  

Gay's defense lawyers told Channel 9 in the courtroom Thursday afternoon, they want the jury to take their time.

During the trial, jurors have been taking notes.

They asked to see a photo from the evidence again before making a decision in this case.

WSOCTV.com will send a breaking news alert when the verdict is read. Sign up for breaking news alerts here.

Channel 9 reporter Jim Bradley will be in the courtroom Friday. Follow him on Twitter for constant updates.

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