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Jurors in Buffalo police brutality trial revisit testimony of two witnesses

The federal jury deliberating in the trial of two Buffalo police officers accused of shooting a teenager with a BB gun heard parts of two witnesses' testimony in court on Friday, but ran into difficulties later in the day.

Jurors in the civil rights case against Raymond Krug and Joseph Wendel sent a note to District Judge William M. Skretny at about 2:40 p.m. asking how should they proceed if they have reached a verdict on some charges but are stalemated on others.

About 25 minutes later, a note from the jury told the judge that one of the jurors was asking to be excused or to speak with the judge.

The judge huddled with prosecutors and defense attorneys to decide how to respond to the notes.

Earlier, the jury asked to have read back the entire testimony of Donald J. Silmon, who was shot in the leg while in the backseat of a police car, and Cheektowaga Police Sgt. Scott Grant, who was at the scene on Treehaven Road in May 2009 and testified earlier this month he heard the BB gun fire but could not identify who fired it.

The court stenographer read back portions of the two witnesses' testimony – it took about 30 minutes to read portions of Grant's and about 45 minutes to read portions of Silmon's.

The case against the officers, who face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, was sent to the jury after a two-week trial wrapped up on Wednesday.

On Thursday, at the prosecutor's request, Skretny ruled that the jury can consider finding the officers guilty of misdemeanor charges instead of the felonies.

Silmon was one of four teens arrested after one of them fired a BB gun into a group of people at Main and Custer streets that night in 2009.

Krug took the stand during the trial and denied shooting him. Wendel is accused of egging Krug on and later punching Silmon twice in the stomach.

Fate of Buffalo cops accused of brutality will rest in jury's hands

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