Posted on December 14, 2021

Juror in Broward Murder Case Says Anger, Mistrust and Accusations of Racial Bias Led to Hung Jury

Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel, December 10, 2021

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.

Dayonte Resiles

Dayonte Resiles

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.

But that, according to the forewoman, would not have been justice. Not for her. Not for the defendant. Not for the victim. “What have I done?” she thought.

In an interview Thursday night, the forewoman, who asked not to be identified by name, shed light on what happened in the deliberation room in the days leading up to the hung jury and mistrial, describing a cauldron of anger, mistrust, betrayal and, underscoring it all, accusations of racial and anti-police bias.

It came to a head Tuesday night, when the manslaughter verdict was read, and the forewoman was faced with the usually-routine question of whether she agreed with the group’s decision.

Only a few seconds passed, but the forewoman’s mind was racing. She thought of the victim and the family left behind. She felt the eyes of the judge and the prosecutor and the victim’s husband boring into her. She was torn between her agreement with her fellow jurors and her firm belief that the prosecution proved Resiles guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

“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?”

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.


Jill Halliburton Su, 59, lived with her husband and her 20-year-old son in a single-family home {snip}


{snip} It was Justin Su who found his mother’s body in a bathtub nearly filled with bloody water. {snip}

{snip} The weapon was in the bathtub. Resiles’ DNA was on another knife and on the belt of a bathrobe the victim had been wearing.


The forewoman in the recent trial described herself as a mixed-race Puerto Rican, a 36-year-old wife and mother in a blended family of five children, ranging in age from 3 to 17. When two Black jurors accused her of not caring about the race of the defendant, she said she was tempted to show pictures of her dark-skinned mother and brother.

{snip} “If it was my brother who was accused and the same set of facts was presented, I could have voted guilty of first-degree murder … That’s what the evidence showed. It’s not a racial thing. It’s a crime. He is the killer. I don’t care what race he is.”

But other members of the diverse jury did, she said. And once the narrative set in that she “did not care” about sending a Black man to prison for life, it was impossible to reset it, she said.