Jurors deliberating the fate of a North County teen accused in the killing of an Oceanside police officer are read instructions on keep "an open mind" and be "courteous."
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that jurors sent a note to the judge in the case on Thursday during its first full day of deliberations in the case of Penifoti Taeotui, 18. In response, the judge reread a section of jury instructions on conduct.
Deputy District Attorney Tom Manning alleged that the defendant has gang affiliations and even though he did not fire the bullet that killed Officer Bessant, his alleged support of the shooting and alleged firing of a .22 caliber pistol in the officer's direction qualified him for first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege Meki Gaono fired the fatal shot on Dec. 26, 2006. He will go on trial in January 2009.
Both suspects face life in prison if convicted.