The jurors deciding the fate of convicted murderer Jonathan Burns have hit a snag.
The Maricopa County Superior Court announced this afternoon that the jury was having "issues" in agreeing on a sentence for Burns, who was convicted in December for the 2007 murder of Jackie Hartman, and could be sentenced to death.
No mistrial has been declared, and jurors are expected to continue deliberations.
Burns, 29, was found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, and misconduct with a weapon for the January 28, 2007, murder of Hartman.
Hartman was last seen by her sister, Randi, about 2 a.m. the night she
was murdered. Randi had dropped her off for what was supposed to be a
first date with Burns. It turned out to be a date with death.
The sisters were supposed to meet up again at 4:45 a.m., but Jackie never showed.
Police spoke with Burns, who said he'd had sex with Hartman and then
dropped her off at home. However, he couldn't explain where he was for
about five hours on the morning of the murder.
Authorities were able to locate an area where Burns had used his cell
phone the morning of the murder -- in the desert near Fountain Hills.
Police searched the area and about a month after she was first reported
missing, a search team found Hartman's body buried in the desert.
Another seemingly damning bit of evidence in the case was that Hartman's
clothes were found torn and in a trash can near Burns' home.
Burns is a convicted felon who has already served a 7-year prison sentence for burglary and arson, and hatched a plan to escape from jail while awaiting trial.
Jurors are expected to resume deliberations Monday at 10:30 a.m.