Jury struggles with sentence for man who raped, killed teen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A jury outside Philadelphia says it can’t come to a unanimous decision on whether to sentence a man to death for raping, strangling and dismembering his girlfriend’s 14-year-old daughter.

Jacob Sullivan pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and related charges in the 2016 slaying of Grace Packer. After nine hours of deliberations over two days, jurors told the judge Wednesday afternoon they’re deadlocked.

The judge told jurors to keep deliberating. If the jury can’t come to a unanimous decision, Sullivan will automatically get life without parole.

Grace’s mother, Sara Packer, is due to plead guilty for her role in the gruesome plot. In a plea deal with prosecutors, she’ll be sentenced to life without parole.

Prosecutors say Sullivan acted out a rape-murder fantasy he shared with Sara Packer.

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