Spears trial jury ends 2nd day of deliberations


AFP

LOS ANGELES — Jurors in Britney Spears’ trial for driving without a valid license ended a second day of deliberations here Monday without a verdict and indicated they could be deadlocked. After retiring to consider their verdict in the misdemeanor case last Friday, jurors returned to court on Monday to weigh evidence against Spears, who was not required to attend during the two-day trial last week. Jurors indicated earlier Monday they were stuck at 10-2, without revealing which way they were leaning.

Van Nuys Superior Court Judge James Steele requested the jury continue deliberating before they were released for the day. The jurors will resume deliberations on Tuesday. The trial went ahead after the singer rejected a plea deal that would have seen her fined 150 dollars and given one year’s probation. The case stems from an August 2007 incident when paparazzi trailing the singer caught her bumping a car in a parking lot and driving away. Prosecutors say Spears was later discovered not to have a valid California license. She was charged with a misdemeanor — punishable by jail or a fine — but for a first offense Spears is unlikely to receive a custodial sentence. Spears’ defense argued the star held a valid Louisiana license at the time of the incident and was not legally required to hold a California permit because she was not living permanently in the state at the time. “She is a Louisiana girl, born there, lived there, and going back there as soon as things are straightened out here,” defense lawyer J. Michael Flanagan told jurors in closing arguments. Spears — who hit rock bottom in January when she was twice rushed to hospital for psychiatric treatment after losing custody of her two young sons — appears to have got her career back on track. Her new single “Womanizer” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart last week, her first No.1 on the ranking since 1999’s “Baby One More Time.”