Mad River Union
EUREKA – The 10-woman, two-man jury in the Gary Lee Bullock murder case is in its third day of deliberations in Humboldt County Superior Court as the end of the week nears.
Jurors have repeatedly sent questions to both counsel and to Judge John T. Feeney since the panel started meeting in secret Tuesday morning at about 11 a.m. on the the courthouse second floor.
They have requested readings of portions of the court reporter's trial transcripts and viewed an additional surveillance video clip recorded at the St. Bernard's Parish rectory, where Bullock allegedly tortured and murdered Father Eric Freed early on New Year's Day morning, 2014. Bullock had been released from Humboldt County jail for public intoxication only hours before the slaying.
Judge Feeney, Prosecutor Andrew Isaac and Defense Counsel Kaleb Cockrum met with the jury behind closed doors for 15 minutes at 2 p.m. Thursday, as deliberations continue. The jurors meet mornings 8:30 a.m. to noon and afternoons 1:30 to 4:30 each weekday.
The jurors are asked to return verdicts on seven felony charges, including torture, attempted arson, burglary and car jacking as well as first degree murder.
Bullock pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, which is legally rare and usually unsuccessful, according to national statistics.
If the jury returns a guilty verdict, the case will move to a second phase for a separate determination of whether Bullock was insane when he killed Freed, allegedly employing a wood stake and a piece of iron pipe to inflict blunt force trauma.
The prosecution argued Bullock was in full possession of his faculties; the defense insisted he suffered a psychotic episode, a sudden explosion of anger over which he had no control.