Update: A Los Angeles jury in the trial of Angeles Crest truck driver Marcos Costa acquitted him of murder on Friday in the deaths of a father and daughter but found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving.
Costa--who was at the wheel of an out-of-control 18-wheel truck that crashed into a La Canada Flintridge bookstore in 2009--faces a maximum sentence of nine years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8. The defense will seek probation.
Following the verdict, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis allowed Costa to remain free on $340,000 bail over the objections of prosecutors, who argued that Costa be remanded into custody as a flight risk because he is a Brazilian national and officially resides in Massachusetts.
Defense atty Edward Murphy successfully argued for Costa's remaining free by pointing out that he is a minister who is currently doing volunteer work with children at a local church.
Read Saturday's follow-up story about Costa's conviction here. Click here for a to the deceased victims.
Earlier: Still deadlocked on some of the charges facing murder defendant Marcos Costa, a Pasadena jury on Friday asked the court to further clarifiy legal terms such as criminal and gross negligence.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis told the panel that the assistance he can provide is very limited. On Thursday the jury foreman told Mavis that the group had made decisions on the two counts of second-degree murder facing Costa, 46, but they were divided on the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter.
Costa drove a 25-ton car carrying semi-truck on Apr. 1, 2009, when the brakes went out on mountainous Angeles Crest Highway, just north of Foothill Boulevard. Palmdale residents Angel Posca, 58 and his 12-year-old daughter, Angelina were turning north onto the Crest when the 18-wheel vehicle plowed into their Ford sedan, struck several other cars and finally crashed into a store on Foothill Bouelvard. The Poscas died instantly.
Friday marked the fifth day of deliberations in the trial, which started in June. The jury on Thursday handed a page of questions to the court, with Mavis advising the members Friday morning that he cannot further define terms such as great bodily injury and unlawful manner, nor could he further explain the difference between criminal and gross negligence.
The jury recessed for lunch and planned to reconvene at 1:30 p.m.
Check back on LCF Patch as this story develops.