Long deliberations in Resiles murder trial may be sign of reasonable doubt, expert says

An expert says the defense may have convinced some jurors that there is reasonable doubt in the Davie killing.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Tuesday marked the fifth day of jury deliberations in the murder trial for Dayonte Resiles.

Day 4 ended with the jury asking specific questions to the judge, including, “If we all do not agree on a higher charge must the jury deliberate to agree on a lesser charge?” and “If only a portion of the jury agrees on a higher charge, and the rest only agree on a lower charge, would it imply a unanimous verdict on the lower charge?”

The judge referred the jurors to their instructions before giving an answer.

“This verdict must be unanimous,” the judge said.

The long deliberations raise the question of whether the jury will be able to agree to a verdict.

“It means that this case is not open and shut. It means that it’s not black and white,” said veteran defense attorney Eric Schwartzreich, who is not involved in this case. “All of the jurors have to be unanimous. All have to come to the same verdict.”

“Remember, not guilty means not proven,” Schwartzreich added. “The prosecution has to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt. It looks like the defense has done a really good job creating a reasonable doubt.”

There are a number of scenarios that remain in play. The jury can find Resiles guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of a lesser charge, they can acquit him, or they can come back and tell the judge they can’t reach a unanimous decision.

On Monday, while continuing their deliberations, jurors asked to re-listen to testimony from the victim’s husband and son.

“Literally a blood bath – the water running, my mother’s face … I only see the back of her head,” Justin Su said during testimony.

The crime happened seven years ago when Justin Su found his mother, Jill Halliburton-Su, bound by her hands and feet in a bathtub after she was stabbed repeatedly.

Investigators allegedly found Resiles’ fingerprints at the scene.

Prosecutors believe he killed Su after breaking into her home in Davie.

Su attempted to fight him off, they said.

The defense claimed the scene was cross-contaminated, adding there were other fingerprints found inside that home — prints that still have yet to be identified.

“It’s very easy to cross-contaminate if things aren’t sterile,” Resiles’ attorney told the court.

If convicted of murder, Resiles faces either life in prison or the death penalty.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.