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WILMINGTON, DEL. - After three days of deliberations, jurors once again failed to deliver a verdict for accused murderer Irina Malinovskaya, leaving open the possibility of a third mistrial.

Malinovskaya, a Wharton student from Russia, is being tried for bludgeoning to death her ex-lover's girlfriend in December 2004.

In the first trial, the judge declared a mistrial after the jury was stuck 11 to 1 in favor of acquittal following two days of deliberations.

In the second trial, jurors claimed they were unable to reach a verdict after three days of deliberations, but the judge told them to keep trying. Two days later, they were still split 6-6 and the judge declared a second mistrial.

Mary Burnell, Malinovskaya's defense attorney during the first two trials, said the longer jurors deliberate, the more likely there will be a third hung jury.

"The chance of a mistrial this time around is pretty good because that's what happened the last time," Burnell said. "The fact of the matter is that the evidence does not change."

Burnell's replacement on the defense team, Joe Hurley, was more optimistic.

He predicted that the jury will deliver a decision Wednesday, but when it comes to the length of jury deliberations in general, he said, "There's no typical time. There's no typical case. Each jury has its own dynamic."

Meanwhile, as the jury continues to sift through the case's dozens of hours of testimony, the courtroom has been abuzz with curiosity.

While Malinovskaya's parents waited outside the courtroom all day yesterday, several lawyers unaffiliated with the case stopped by the courthouse press room to check on developments with "the Russian girl."

Jay Whittle, an immigration attorney from Washington, D.C., was one such curious lawyer in the courthouse who said there was "absolutely" interest and talk about the trial among his colleagues.

"It's just one of those cases that's got circumstances that you don't see everyday," he said.

Burnell said she has also continued to follow the trial and support her former client's family.

"There's an awful lot of suspense," said Burnell, who was not at the courthouse but has been present for the third trial on a few occasions.

As for the possibility of a fourth trial if jurors can't agree?

"I sincerely hope they wouldn't do it a fourth time," Burnell said. "But then again, I was surprised they opted to do it a third time."

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