It was a long day of jury deliberations during the Bill Cosby sexual-assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse near Philly yesterday. Last night, as jurors heard Judge Steven O’Neill read back about an hour-and-a-half’s worth of graphic testimony — Cosby’s lead defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau, surprised everyone by catching a few winks.
According to several reports, as the judge reviewed Cosby’s stunning statements about using Quaaludes with women, as well as disturbing details about his sexual contact with Andrea Constand, the woman who claims that the comedian drugged and raped her in his suburban Philly home in 2004, Mesereau sat back in his chair for a quick snooze with his mouth hanging open. This nap time in Norristown went on for an estimated 30 minutes during which no one — not even the judge — commented in any official capacity.
Just last year, a judge in a murder case declared a mistrial when the defense attorney fell asleep in the courtroom. And in a fraud case last year, a defendant also got a new trial when his attorney was caught sleeping by the judge.
Cosby, who sat at the defense table near the unconscious Mesereau, mostly rubbed his head and face and occasionally smiled as the judge revisited his statements to investigators from 2005.
By the time the jury headed home close to 9:30 p.m., after ten hours of deliberating, they were no closer to reaching a verdict. They reconvene for day two of deliberations this morning, hopefully after everyone’s had a full night’s sleep.