Slay jury deliberating for 2nd day

A JURY this morning will begin its second day deliberating the fates of three men on trial for allegedly slaying two drug dealers in the hallway of the new Piazza at Schmidts apartment building in June 2009.

The jurors received legal instructions from Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart yesterday morning then began reviewing the evidence, including surveillance video from the Northern Liberties crime scene.

After failing to reach a verdict, Minehart sent the panel home shortly before 5 p.m.

On trial are alleged ringleader Will "Pooh" Hook, 43, and alleged gunmen, Edward Daniels, 44, and Antonio Wright, 30. Charged with felony murder and related offenses, each faces life in prison if convicted.

Fatally shot the afternoon of June 27 in the 7th-floor hallway of the Piazza's Navona building were two people who authorities said aspired to be big-time drug dealers: Rian Thal, 34, a part-time party planner, and Timothy Gilmore, 40, a former Detroit firefighter.

At trial, prosecutors argued that Hook - known as Keith Epps - got a tip and organized a robbery crew to steal a large stash of cocaine and cash that Thal had in her apartment.

Prosecutors told the jury that Daniels, Wright and co-defendant Donnell Murchison, carried out a botched robbery that became a double murder. Of the eight people arrested, Murchison and three others pleaded guilty. One will be tried next year because he was arrested after the others.