A life-or-death decision for an arsonist convicted in the deaths of homeowners who died as they evacuated during a 2003 wildfire is in the hands of the same jury that found him guilty on two counts of arson and five counts of first-degree murder.
Rickie Lee Fowler was convicted in August of murder in the deaths of five men who suffered heart attacks as they rushed to evacuate during the 91,000-acre Old Fire.
The jurors are deliberating the penalty phase of the trial. Fowler, 31, could be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.
The panel met briefly on Thursday, but did not continue their private discussions on Friday. The jury is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday.
The Old Fire caused widespread damage including the destruction of more than 1,000 homes and other buildings.