4-28-04 - The jury in the federal trial of a former Colbert police officer adjourned after 5 hours of deliberating without coming to a decision Wednesday. Richard Wyrick is accused of two felonies - deprivation of rights and falsifying a police report.
In July of 2003, Wyrick was involved in a high speed pursuit while on duty in Colbert. He chased a car driven by 67 year old James Murray into Denison, where he followed Murray inside a convenience store. A surveillance camera caught Wyrick on tape as he spun Murray around and punched him in the face.
Wyrick was fired a few days later and Murray suffered a broken hip.
Wednesday morning both sides gave their closing arguments and by 1pm the case was handed to the jury. The 12 member jury asked the judge to view the videotape again though, wanting to watch it in slow motion. The request sparked arguments from both prosecutors and defense attorneys. The defense claimed it didn't accurately show what went on inside the store. They claim Murray pulled his arm back, as if to punch Wyrick. They argued that move wasn't clear in slow motion.
Despite the objection, the jury was allowed to see the slowed video. By 6:15pm, the jury asked for Wyrick's testimony. A debate ensued over whether the judge should read it to them or if they should get a paper copy. That should happen Thursday at 2pm when the jury reconvenes.
Wyrick could face up to 30 years in jail and a $250,000 fine if he’s convicted.