MARTINEZ -- A verdict was reached Tuesday morning in the case against one of the defendants in the Richmond High School gang rape dual jury trial.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga immediately sealed defendant Marcelles Peter's verdict, and says she won't read it until the verdict is in for Peter's co-defendant, Jose Montano, or until 1:30 p.m. Thursday, whichever comes first.
Peter, 20, of Pinole, and Montano, 22, of Richmond, each face life in prison if they are convicted as charged in connection with an Oct. 24, 2009, attack on a 16-year-old girl in a dark courtyard on the Richmond High School campus.
Peter and Montano are each charged with gang rape, forced oral copulation in concert and sexual penetration in concert, but their respective juries were instructed to consider lesser offenses.
Peter's jury deliberated for about seven hours before announcing that it had reached a verdict. Montano's jury had deliberated for about seven hours before it went home Tuesday.
Over six weeks, the juries heard from about 30 witnesses, including two men who have already been convicted of gang rape in the case. Another two men are awaiting trial on lesser sexual assault charges.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.