A LAUNCESTON jury will return on Monday to consider its verdict in the murder trial of Michael Vernon Lowe.
The 52-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the stabbing murder of Darren Booth in Kings Meadows last year.
Yesterday the jury was unable to reach a decision after nearly five hours of deliberation, which prompted Justice Robert Pearce to relieve them for the weekend.
In summing up Justice Pearce laid out the case in the Supreme Court citing self-defence as a primary issue in the trial.
The Crown has alleged the accused murdered Mr Booth after learning the 37-year-old was in a relationship with a woman that Mr Lowe still loved.
The jury had heard Mr Lowe and Crystal Wells were ``having a break'' from their two-year relationship when the alleged murder took place at her home on May 13, 2012.
The defence has argued Mr Lowe was attacked when he visited Ms Wells unannounced that morning by Mr Booth armed with a cricket stump.
Mr Lowe, of Waverley, admitted using a knife but said he didn't stab Mr Booth but rather wielded it in front of him, ``jabbing'' it to keep him away.
Justice Pearce told the jury that self-defence could not be relied upon by Mr Lowe if he used his knife to overcome the initial attack by Mr Booth and continued pursuing him.
However self-defence was still a defence even if Mr Lowe had started the fight.
Justice Pearce touched on the splatter analysis showing most of the blood in the front of the house where the fight began belonged to Mr Lowe.
The defence argued this supported their case however, the prosecution said it showed Mr Lowe continued to pursue Mr Booth through the house until he stabbed him .
Justice Pearce cautioned the jury on how to take suggestions by defence counsel Greg Richardson that Ms Wells was a ``calculating liar''.
Even if she had lied to Mr Lowe about their relationship this did not mean the jury should automatically reject her evidence.
The jury was told it could only return a guilty verdict by unanimous decision.
After six hours the jury can return a majority verdict of not guilty or manslaughter.
A majority verdict involves 10 or more members of the 12-person jury agreeing on a decision.