Deanna DeJesus, 38, had pleaded not guilty to aggravated manslaughter and child neglect charges related to the Feb. 9 incident in Deerfield Beach. The aggravated manslaughter charge ended in a mistrial, but the jury found her guilty of the child neglect charge. Prosecutor Greg Rossman and defense attorney Terry Moons argued the case in court.
The jury came back with a split decision on Monday in the trial of a of a Florida woman charged in a deadly Deerfield Beach RV park standoff that ended with her husband stabbing his entire family.
Deanna DeJesus, 38, had pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated manslaughter and child neglect related to the Feb. 9 incident at the Highland Woods RV Park. The aggravated manslaughter charge ended in a mistrial, but the jury found her guilty of the child neglect charge.
Prosecutors will have to later decide whether to retry her on the first charge.
According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, 41-year-old William De Jesus, from Port Orange, drove his red Ford Mustang into the RV park with Deanna De Jesus and the couple's two sons, ages seven and nine.
William De Jesus, who was an Oxycodone addict and who was found to have cocaine in his body, shot and killed 76-year-old Oliva Plante, then took Plante's girlfriend, Pierrette Beauchemin, hostage in the couple's RV, police said.
In the RV, William De Jesus stabbed his 9-year-old and 7-year-old sons several times. Deanna De Jesus didn't stop the stabbing of her children, and "protested only when her husband stabbed her," authorities said.
"She should've said 'stop, no more,'" prosecutor Gregg Rossman said during his closing argument Monday. "She should've protected her sons."
"Deanna's not guilty of anything," defense attorney Terry Moons said, arguing there was no way DeJesus could have stopped the rampage.
The jury began deliberating at 11:20 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. they told the judge they were hung on the aggravated manslaughter charge. The judge told them to go back and keep talking about it.
"It's not what she did, it's what she omitted to do. Her crime is a crime of omission," Rossman said during closing arguments.
Moons said she was there for her children.
"She was there every step of the way for her children. There's no way you could foresee the actions of William DeJesus. None whatsoever," Moons said." To charge her for the actions of her husband is horrible."