- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) - Jury deliberations have started in the trial of a former southern New Jersey police officer charged in the shooting death of a friend.

Closing arguments in the case concluded Tuesday morning, and jurors started their discussions a short time later. But they did not reach a verdict and will resume their deliberations Wednesday.

Defense lawyer John Eastlack urged the Gloucester County jury to acquit James Stuart of murder and manslaughter charges. Eastlack said the January 2013 death of 27-year-old David Compton was a “tragic, horrible accident,” not an intentional act.

Prosecutors disputed that claim, saying the former Deptford officer had acted recklessly and was criminally responsible for the death.

The shooting occurred in Stuart’s Deptford home. He was off-duty at the time.

Mutual friends have testified the two were close.

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