Jurors in the child-killing case against Joel Steinberg weighed homicide charges against him, and two alternate jurors who were dismissed said they would have voted for conviction.
However, the alternates expressed mixed feelings about the prosecution's star witness - Steinberg's former live-in companion, Hedda Nussbaum, whose testimony will likely determine the verdict.The jury received the case Monday and deliberated for about nine hours without reaching a verdict. Deliberations resumed this morning.
Of the five alternate jurors released by Judge Harold Rothwax, some told reporters they believed Nussbaum testified truthfully, others weren't sure and some thought she was covering up.
Dr. Samuel Klagsbrun, Nussbaum's psychiatrist, said Monday his patient "will interpret any verdict except murder as, `They didn't believe me.'
"If the jury shows any doubt, she feels people will feel she is responsible or somehow she participated in the crime, and that is a hurt that she finds almost unbearable," he said.
Steinberg is charged in the death of 6-year-old Lisa Steinberg, the girl he obtained at birth from an unwed Long Island teenager and raised but never legally adopted.