MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Jurors resumed deliberations Thursday in the sexual assault trial of former Minnesota Twins star Kirby Puckett, trying to sort out two conflicting stories about what happened in a restaurant bathroom last September.
The six women and six men reconvened about 9:30 a.m. They deliberated from about 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a break for lunch Wednesday before Hennepin County District Judge Stephen Swanson sequestered them at a hotel for the night.
Puckett's attorney, Todd Jones, told jurors in closing arguments Wednesday that the state failed prove its claim that the Hall of Famer dragged a woman into the men's room at the Redstone American Grill in Eden Prairie late the night of Sept. 5, forced her into a stall and grabbed her breast -- bruising her breast, arm and ankle -- before she escaped.
"What happened was real simple -- she wanted to go into the restroom. He took her into the restroom. It might not have been the wisest choice, but it was real simple," Jones said.
But prosecutor Alan Harris told jurors the woman's story was supported by testimony from others and physical evidence and should lead them to conclude Puckett is guilty.
"The ultimate question for you is, did (Puckett) escort her like a gentleman into the rest room? ... Or did he drag her in forcibly against her will -- throw her around like a rag doll in the restroom -- and forcibly fondle her breast?" Harris said.
Puckett attended a Minnesota Timberwolves game Wednesday night at Target Center. "I ain't got nothing to say," he replied when asked about the case.
The 43-year-old is charged with false imprisonment, a felony; fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor; and fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors say the stiffest sentence they would seek is no more than a year in jail if he's convicted on all counts.
Harris highlighted the testimony of Alan Anderson, who didn't know the woman or her friends before the incident, but backed up their stories. Harris recalled that Anderson, who didn't recognize Puckett either, said he first thought the woman and Puckett were a couple, until he saw the woman resisting.
He said Anderson "is as independent as he can be from the principals in this case." But Jones noted that Anderson, by his own admission, drank at least seven beers that night.
The prosecutor also asked jurors to consider the physical evidence -- photographs showing bruises on the woman -- and noted that she called police and told her friends shortly after it happened.
Jones, however, said the events couldn't have happened within the short time alleged by the woman and her friends and within the tight confines of the men's room, given Puckett's large size.
Jurors leaned forward and stood up to watch as Jones laid a full-scale map of the stall area on the courtroom floor. He used it to try to show it would be difficult for Puckett to drag the woman to the back of the bathroom, force her into the narrow stall even though he's over 25 inches wide at the shoulders, then bend her over the toilet and reach around to grab her breast.
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