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Judge Alison Nathan extended deliberations to 6pm on Tuesday, citing an “astronomical spike” in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

“It’s time to have the jurors make plans to continue deliberating until a verdict is reached,” she said, noting that the Omicron surge could force jurors into quarantine and jeopardise the “ability to complete this trial”.

However as 5pm approached, the jury submitted a note seeking approval to end at the regular time and resume at 9am Wednesday. “Our deliberations are moving along, and we are making progress,” the note stated.

Judge Nathan approved the request and raised the possibility of deliberation continuing over the weekend, if necessary.

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