TOWANDA - After two and half hours Friday, the jury deadlocked on a decision on the fate of Steven Carl Colegrove, convicted Wednesday of murdering his parents and brother in August 2007.
Following testimony from several witnesses brought by the defense, the jury went into deliberation late Friday, but were unable to come to agreement, said District Attorney Daniel Barrett.
"Sentencing will be held at a later date because of the late hour," Barrett said.
CHERYL R. CLARKE/Sun-Gazette
Steven Carl Colegrove is lead into the Bradford County Courthouse Friday by Sheriff's deputies for the penalty hearing that decided his fate.
"One or more jurors may have felt that the mitigating factors could have outweighed the aggravating factors," he added.
Colegrove was convicted of three counts of first degree murder in the shotgun slayings of Joseph, 60, Marlene, 56, and Michael Colegrove, 36, as they slept in their Tuscarora Township home Aug. 8, 2007.
Bradford County Judge Maureen Beirne, told the jury to weigh aggravating and mitigating circumstances before deciding on the penalty.
In opening statements, Bradford County District Attorney Daniel Barrett told the jury that Pennsylvania has asserted aggravating factors and had no reason to call witnesses to prove it.
But the jury couldn't agree on the appropriate penalty for Colegrove, partly because of public defender Helen Stolinas' plea to "listen to what we have to say."
"You have already decided he will die in imprisonment," she said in her opening statement.
The first witness, Louise Luck, sociologist and psychiatrist, said a teacher, Carl Whitehead, described Steven in tenth grade as "a slow learner, quiet and withdrawn," even though he has an IQ of 116, smarter than two out of three people.
Also Michael and Robert's teacher Whitehead said Robert exhibited the most anger, and Michael had some sort of disability, Luck said.
"He said Steven was more of a loner than other students, and needed more attention. I always got the impression he wanted more attention," Luck said Whitehead told her.
A friend described Colegrove as "a strange bird" and told of how his living conditions included a toilet in the living room without any enclosures that was used by the family even when other people were present.
According to Dr. Frank Dettillio, clinical and forensic psychologist, Colegrove was the "odd man out" in his family.
"He had a lot of internal strife about rejection. His mother ran hot and cold, she was
a difficult individual," he said, adding "and he caught wind of the statement made by his mother that he should have never been born and that was the icing on the cake for him. Everything he dreaded in his life came true. He really should have never been born."
He was asked by Barrett if Colegrove suffers from any recognized mental disorder.
"Yes, I believe he does. I didn't write it in my report, but under personality dynamics, I spoke to the fact that there was depression, paranoia and anxiety," he said.
Dr. Robert Johnson, professor of justice, law and society at American University, Washington, DC. said someone like Colegrove would be a useful citizen because he does feel he can be helpful to others.
"Part of his identity is to be a helper, people like that are valuable and pretty rare," he said.
Tiffany Tracey, of Johnson City, N.Y., cried as she told the jury that Colegrove offered her a "shoulder to cry on, someone who will listen to you without interrupting."
Her sister, Tara Tracey, also of Johnson City, N.Y., also cried as she called Colegrove "a very good friend of mine."
"He always made me laugh, and was a shoulder to lean on. He was someone I could trust. There are very few people in this world I tell anything to and he was one of them," she added.
Linzee Jones, Kate's daughter, had a positive relationship with the defendant. "He was a father figure to me and to my brothers," she said. "He was just there for me and my family. Stepped up whenever anyone needed him."