Jury hung in case of mother accused of leaving two sons in hot car trunk to die

Some four hours of deliberation produced a deadlocked jury instead of a verdict at the child neglect trial of 25 year old Jacqueline Wilk.

The hung jury declaration came shortly after 6:00 p.m.

Wilk was accused of losing track of her two young sons in June of 2011. The boys snuck out of their house in New Carlisle, into the driveway, and into the trunk of their mother’s car.

Both two year old Isaac Dunner, and four year old Dominick Wilk later died from heat stroke.

Jacqueline Wilk’s family thanked those in the community who offered support and said the jury got it right.

“We’re disappointed that we did not get a verdict however we wish to thank the jurors for their service, it's a very hard job and we're glad they were able to do it,” said Defense Attorney Brenan Lahey.

Actually, the jury fell short of “doing it,” in terms of reaching a verdict. It deadlocked on votes of 5-to-7 and 4-to-8 on the two neglect charges Wilk faced.

“You can't have doubts about anything and there was one word that was in the charges and that's knowingly and you know we don't know what she thinks, we can't get inside of her head,” said juror Victoria Barhydt.

The prosecution had compared Wilk’s case to a parent who leaves a loaded gun on the table—only to later find it in the hands of their child.

The prosecution argued that Wilk had to rescue her kids from the trunk in the past yet failed to lock the car on the day they snuck out and died there.

Wilk today said she was "inaccurate" when she told an officer she had previously found her children playing in the trunk. Today Wilk said "Never did I find them in the trunk, I don'tknow why I said those things, but it didn't happen."

“Everyone is not going to think alike and I’m not going to say what the next person felt, I'm not going to say how I felt: I’m just going to say this wasn't about sympathy and it was about what the charges were and how they were read and were stated,” said juror Rosalind Cutts.

The day began with Wilk taking the witness stand on her own behalf. She offered about an hour and a half of sometimes tearful testimony.

“I came in thinking, oh my gosh this is such a bad person they did such a bad thing, when I got in the courtroom and I saw Jackie I realized that she's a human being and she's a person just like all of us, and that you can't judge someone, you know, don't judge a book by the cover,” said juror Barhydt.

A hearing has been set for February 25th to discuss what happens next, and if Wilk will be retried.


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