(NEW YORK) — Jury deliberations resume Thursday in the trial of Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek native who took inspiration from the Islamic State group and drove a truck down the West Side Highway bike path, killing eight on Halloween 2017.
The jury deliberated for an hour or so Wednesday and appeared befuddled.
The defense, which did not call any witnesses, conceded during opening statements that Saipov carried out the attack but challenged the government allegation he did it to become a full fledged member of ISIS. The defense said Saipov did not want to join the terror group, he wanted to die a martyr.
Prior to adjourning for the day the jury sent the judge a note with three questions:
– Is the defense contending Saipov committed the truck attack but was charged with the wrong crime?
– If Saipov went to Syria, trained with ISIS and came back with an ISIS card, would he have been charged with the same crime?
– Let’s say we find Saipov not guilty of the truck attack because he wanted to join ISIS. Would he be re-tried for a different crime?
The judge expressed concern the questions sounded like conversations and not based on evidence.
The judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys will spend part of the morning deciding how to respond once the court reconvenes at 9 a.m.
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