QUITMAN -- Jurors in the double murder trial of Freddie Lee Davis again failed to reach a verdict on Thursday and will return today to continue deliberations.

The jury has now been out for more than nine hours over two days, but expressed cautious optimism that a verdict could be reached.

"I hate to give up unless we have to. This case has been well tried, and you have been conscientious jurors. I hate to give up," Superior Court Judge Harry Jay Altman said in ordering jurors back for another day.

Davis is charged with the murders of his sister Bernice Thomas and her boyfriend James Newsome who were found brutally beaten in their Stewart Street residence on June 14, 2000.

The seven-count indictment against Davis includes two charges of malice murder, two charges of felony murder, two charges of aggravated assault and a charge of armed robbery.

Altman spoke to jurors twice on Thursday, both times exhorting them to push toward a verdict.

Davis, 64, has been in prison since his arrest in September 2001 and faces life in prison if convicted on the murder charges.



To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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