THE jury in the trial of Walcha widow Natasha Beth Darcy will resume their deliberations this morning on whether she murdered her partner almost four years ago.
The panel of 11 men and women was locked in deliberations for more than three hours yesterday, before being sent home from the NSW Supreme Court.
Darcy, aged 46, denies giving Walcha sheep grazier Mathew Dunbar a drug-filled blended drink and then gassing him in bed before his death on August 2, 2017. She has pleaded not guilty to murder.
During their deliberations, the jury sent two notes to the court to clarify evidence or transcripts in the case, which has spanned 10 weeks.
Justice Julia Lonergan then agreed to release them for the day at 3.30pm, after a request.
The trial resumed on Wednesday morning with Justice Lonergan finishing a summation of the case for and against the accused, before she instructed the panel of 11 to leave the courtroom to consider their verdict in the closed jury room, shortly before 11am.
Crown prosecutor Brett Hatfield has submitted Darcy started looking for ways to murder the Walcha farmer by poison in February 2017, citing searches on her iPhone and on a MAC computer.
The Crown claims Darcy tried to kill her de-facto more than once knowing full well she would inherit his multi-million dollar farm, and left "a staged scene to conceal the fact this was murder".
Defence barrister Janet Manuell SC has submitted 12 distinct reasons to the jury that the Crown has not excluded that Mr Dunbar died by his own hand.
Justice Lonergan, in her summing up of the defence case yesterday morning, said Ms Manuell submitted that a lot of lies were told by the accused, and it was part of their case that "once you tell a lie, you have to tell a lot more lies" to make up the initial one.
Justice Lonergan said Ms Manuell "reminded you" that people tell lies for all reasons.
She also said the defence case was that if the jury believed that there was any "reasonable possibility that he died of his own hand, then you must acquit the accused".
Justice Lonergan said "by whatever route" each of the jury members reach, "the final decision, either guilty or not guilty ... must be the decision of all of you unanimously".
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Lifeline 13 11 14
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