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Jury deliberations began Monday in the lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia brought by the family of murdered Wharton graduate student Shannon Schieber.

The civil jury of six men and six women deliberated for three hours yesterday and are set to resume deliberations today at 9:30 a.m. at the federal courthouse.

Vicki and Sylvester Schieber, parents of the Wharton doctoral student, filed suit in 1998 shortly after the brutal rape and murder of their daughter.

If the jury decides in favor of the plaintiffs, it will reconvene to determine a monetary award.

Troy Graves, nicknamed the "Center City rapist" by police, was charged and convicted of the crime and is currently serving a life sentence.

However, the suit alleges that the city of Philadelphia is also responsible for Schieber's death.

According to the plaintiffs, police and city officials systematically misclassified rape investigations as the lesser charge of "investigation of persons." They claimed that these misclassifications affected the actions of the police officers on duty at the time of Schieber's murder.

The two officers on duty went to Schieber's apartment after receiving a 911 call from her neighbor but did not forcibly open Schieber's door.

The officers said the neighbor, Parmatma Greeley, was not sure enough for them to knock down the door.

Greeley testified during the trial that he called 911 after hearing a struggle inside Schieber's apartment.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Officers Steven Woods and Raymond Scherff said that Greeley never mentioned a "choking" noise, and that he disagreed with his girlfriend about whether or not the noises came from the apartment or outside on the street.

The officers proceeded to knock on the door and, after receiving no response, left the scene. Experts testified that Schieber was either dead or unconscious as police deliberated.

Additionally, during the trial, Officer Tyrone Winckler of the Sixth Police District testified that he would have taken Graves in for questioning when he stopped him nine months before Schieber's murder, had he known that there was a pattern of unsolved rapes in the area, according to the Inquirer.

During testimony for the defense, former Police Commissioner John Timoney called Winckler's testimony into question.

"The notion that you would make an automatic connection to a serial rapist ... at 2 a.m., with a sketch that didn't resemble ... I am hard-pressed to believe that connection could be made," he said, according to the Inquirer.

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