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Murder-trial jury ordered to resume deliberations

Published: Wednesday, May. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 2, 2013 - 7:48 am

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena R. Gweon on Tuesday ordered the jury in the murder trial of Shajia Ayobi to resume deliberations after the panel's foreman wrote a note saying the jurors could not reach a verdict.

Gweon gave the jury the rest of the day off and told the panel to resume deliberations at 9 a.m. today.

Ayobi, 46, is accused of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband, Ghulam Rabani Ayobi, 53. She had initially reported to police that her husband was killed during a carjacking shortly after midnight Dec. 18, 2011. She has since changed her story to say that she paid to have him killed, but that she did it in self-defense because of his abuse of her. She also said she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their relationship, as well as from abuses she endured during her early childhood and from her experiences during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Shajia Ayobi testified that she did not fire the weapon in her husband's killing. She said the man she hired to do the shooting, Jake Clark, 20, who has since been arrested and charged with murder in the case, was the actual gunman.

The judge called the jury into the courtroom after receiving a note a little after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday about its inability to reach a verdict. The jury foreman told Gweon there has been some movement in the three ballots taken on the first-degree murder verdict, and five of the 12 members of the panel said they thought it would be possible to reach a verdict with further deliberations.

Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

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