September 9, 2005
The fate of 27-year-old Joel Salinas remains in the jury's hands. After four days of testimony, the jury began deliberations at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. They deliberated for nearly seven hours without a verdict, until the judge decided to continue the deliberations until Monday morning.
Salinas is accused in the stabbing death of 26-year-old Candido Bello Rivera back in June of 2004. During testimony, Salinas admitted to stabbing Bello Rivera however he claims it was in self-defense.
The victim was found with a stab wound to the heart. A bloody kitchen knife was found near the scene.
The jury must now decide whether the act was indeed self-defense or committed with malice. It has several verdicts to choose from, including first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or an outright acquittal.