Dayonte Resiles killed Jill Halliburton Su by stabbing her to death and leaving her lifeless body in a bathtub in her Davie home — on that much, jurors could agree.
But they couldn’t agree on a murder charge, according to the jury forewoman, because three members refused to sign off on a verdict that would send a young Black man to prison for the rest of his life. For a short time, the nine who wanted a first-degree murder conviction were willing to budge. A manslaughter conviction would send Resiles to prison for 15 years, not for life. All 12 jurors signed off on manslaughter late Tuesday.
“I just got a knot in the pit of my stomach. I looked at the defense table. They were just cheering and patting him on the back, like he graduated high school or made the winning touchdown at a football game,” she said. “I thought, what have I done? Is this the world I am creating for my children, a world where someone can get away with murder because of the color of their skin?”
This is 12 Angry Men but flipped to right a wrong.
Finally, she recalled the advice her husband gave her before the trial started: “Follow the law. Don’t cave.”
She was convinced Resiles did not commit manslaughter on Sept. 8, 2014 — he committed murder. Manslaughter was not her verdict.
“No,” she told the judge. She didn’t agree.
And that did it. It eventually went to Mistrial and Dayonte Resiles will have to face another trial and another Jury because one good woman, one woman of color refused to play political games and respected this Nation of Laws.
She stood tall where others crawled. She has my admiration and respect.