A jury is deciding the fate of 27-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, the man charged with 43 crimes, including first-degree murder and aggravated assault, in the 2017 shooting of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.
The crime was allegedly a revenge attack for the 2015 racist massacre of nine members of a predominantly black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Jurors received their instructions and were sent out to deliberate around 3:50 Thursday afternoon; they were released just before 5 p.m. and returned this morning to continue their deliberations.
Prosecutors claim Samson killed a woman and wounded seven other people, including the minister, at the Antioch church, where he used to be a parishioner.
The defense claims Samson is bipolar and suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of a violent childhood. His lawyers argued for criminally negligent homicide instead of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Samson is “conveniently” invoking mental illness to avoid responsibility and are seeking life in prison without possibility of parole.