Murder trial opens with feud, kidnapping, ransom allegations (Oct. 18, 2011)
Murder trial continues with witness testimony (Oct. 19, 2011)
Jury set to deliberate in murder trial (Oct. 20, 2011)
IN BRIEF: A plea deal that reduced the charges faced by Humberto Lorenzo-Diaz from malice murder to voluntary manslaughter was entered just as the jury's verdict came in Monday afternoon in Rockdale County Superior Court.
As part of that plea deal, Lorenzo-Diaz was sentenced to 20 years, with 15 in prison.
The jury had been deliberating since Thursday afternoon. Judge Sidney Nation had been receiving notes from the jury regarding the case.
According to District Attorney Richard Read, around Friday afternoon, Judge Sidney Nation began "encouraging the parties to work out an arrangement."
"You never know what a jury's going to do in a difficult case," said Read. The discussion with the judge reportedly "made it seem like the jury was having a difficult time reaching a verdict."
The defense attorneys indicated to the state's attorneys their client was interested in a plea deal. "They talked about it. They approached the judge with a plea recommendation. The judge accepted that recommendation," said Read.
The plea deal was read sometime after 3 p.m. Monday, just as the court was notified that the jury had reached a verdict.
"Once the judge has accepted the plea, the case is disposed of," explained Read.
The verdict was reportedly sealed.
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