BROOKLYN (PIX11) — The federal jury deliberating a murder conspiracy case against Anthony Zottola, Sr. and two alleged Bloods gang members sent the judge a note Tuesday, signaling some discord.
“What do we do if we cannot make a unanimous decision,” the note asked.
Judge Hector Gonzalez brought the panel of seven men and five women back to the courtroom, telling them, “You have a legal obligation to be here until there is a verdict. There is no time limit on how long the deliberation process should take.”
The judge noted the panel had been deliberating about ten hours, as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, on a trial that took more than six weeks.
Anthony Zottola, Sr. is accused of hiring a Bloods set leader, Bushawn “Shelz” Shelton, to organize hits on his father, Sylvester, and his brother, Salvatore, in the Bronx.
Defendant Himen Ross, who was living in a homeless shelter when he was allegedly recruited in the plot, is the accused shooter in the execution of Sylvester Zottola, 71, at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx on October 4, 2018.
Prosecutors also believe he tried and failed to fatally shoot Zottola’s son, Salvatore, on July 11, 2018.
The alleged plot took more than a year to carry out.
Defendant Alfred Lopez is the accused getaway driver in the McDonald’s shooting.
The jury on Monday asked to see text messages between Lopez and his girlfriend, along with GPS data. It also asked for texts sent between Shelton and Anthony Zottola.
On Tuesday, the jury asked to see a video of Alfred Lopez when FBI agents interviewed him after his arrest.
The jury also wanted to review text messages between Himen Ross and Bushawn Shelton, some of them allegedly sent shortly after Sylvester Zottola was killed at the McDonald’s on Webster Avenue.