Jury to Resume Deliberations Monday

February 4, 2006 - Posted at 2:24 p.m. CST

HOUSTON (AP) _ A jury in Houston will be back at work on Monday,

in the trial of three people accused of playing a role in a deadly

immigrant-smuggling effort in 2003.

The jurors met for two hours yesterday following closing

arguments, but didn't reach a verdict.

A husband and wife, and the woman's half-sister, are accused of

being part of a smuggling ring that carried more than 70 immigrants

from South Texas to Houston in May of 2003.

Seventeen of the immigrants died in the heat inside the airtight

trailer, and two others died later, after the driver abandoned the


Defense attorneys say the three were bit players in a scheme

that was orchestrated by others.

The three defendants originally faced 58 counts each, but most

were dismissed. Still, they could face life in prison.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)