Jurors debate in rape trial

LAWRENCEVILLE - The jury deliberated about three-and-a-half hours Tuesday in the rape case of 19-year-old Darrian Dewayne Bryant, who is also accused of multiple counts of burglary and kidnapping in a 2007 southeast Gwinnett crime spree.

The jury was permitted to watch the presidential inauguration and reportedly did not begin deliberating until about 1 p.m. Over the next few hours, jurors submitted several notes to Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil, at least once requesting to rehear testimony from a witness who took the stand Thursday.

Hamil conferred with Assistant District Attorney Dawn Taylor and defense attorney David Whitman before deciding what to tell jurors.

"I'm going to tell them they must rely on their collective memory to recall (her) testimony," Hamil said.

Hamil said at least one of two additional questions raised by the jury are "classic scrivener's errors," or clerical errors, and immaterial to the jury's deliberations. Courts can correct clerical errors at any time, even after a judgment has been entered.

At about 4:40 p.m., while discussing the notes with both sides, Hamil was informed the jury was requesting to recess for the day. A court officer said one juror does not drive after dark and another needed to pick up his spouse.

Moments later, the court officer returned with printed copies of two more notes from the jury.

"Didn't they see this the first time?" Taylor asked, after reading the notes.

Hamil is expected to meet with Taylor and Whitman at 8:30 a.m. today to discuss the notes.

Court is scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m.