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.