Around 3:30 p.m., a juror was let go after the panel began deliberating. No explanation was given for the dismissal.
The judge put an alternate juror in place and told the panel to begin deliberations anew.
The courtroom was packed with media earlier as both sides were set to give closing arguments. Dunn's family was also there, and for the first time during the trial, Dirksmeyer's family sat in too.
Wrapping things up was a slow process, because attorneys had about two weeks worth of trial material to review with jurors.
Thursday marked the beginning of the end at the Johnson County courthouse.
The day starting with closing arguments in the capital murder trial of Dunn.
Special prosecutors had one last chance to convince jurors they've proven beyond a reasonable doubt, Dunn killed Dirksmeyer.
The defense used its time to talk mostly about Kevin Jones, Dirksmeyer's boyfriend and the first man the state charged with her murder.
Attorneys on both sides spoke for hours, reminding jurors of the testimony and evidence presented over the course of more than two weeks. The state told jurors that circumstantial evidence sometimes is the best evidence investigators can find and in this case, circumstantial evidence puts Dunn in Dirksmeyer's apartment.
However, the defense told jurors that most of the evidence points back at Kevin Jones.
Attorney Jack McQuary spoke for the state. McQuary says expert testimony that the person who stabbed Dirksmeyer is right-handed doesn't clear Dunn who is left-handed. He suggested that it was possible Dunn used his dominate left hand to restrain Dirksmeyer while stabbing her with his right.
He also reminded jurors about the state crime lab investigator, who testified that having no evidence of a sexual assault didn't rule it out, saying the use of a condom could be an explanation.
Attorney Bill James, who spoke for the defense, referenced Jones' bloody palm print on the lamp the State Crime Lab says caused the gash on the back of Dirksmeyer's head, and how Jones and his mother repeatedly denied that he touched the lamp.
James also talked about the DNA evidence found on the condom wrapper. He says the State Crime Lab didn't find any DNA evidence when it got the wrapper after the outside lab who found the DNA in the first place gave it to them.
James says the state has only shown that Dunn could have done it, "Well 'could have' is not beyond a reasonable doubt."
He went on to say quote "If closure is convicting the man who killed Nona than the Diperts will never get closure", another jab at Jones.
Dirksmeyer's mother and stepfather sat in on the arguments, as the trial of the second man charged with their daughter's murder rounds to a close.
The defense rested Wednesday after calling several witnesses, including Dirksmeyer's apartment manager, a friend of Kevin Jones' mother Janice. Kevin was Dirksmeyer's boyfriend at the time of her death.
Tuesday, Dunn's wife Jennifer testified that she saw her husband come out of Dirksmeyer's apartment, after he claimed he didn't know her, and that Gary sexual abused her. The defense has asked to have Jennifer's testimony thrown out based on prejudice, but the judge denied their request.
Monday, a state police investigator testified that whoever killed Dirksmeyer was holding the weapon in their right hand, and he implied that Dunn was left handed.
Friday, a DNA examiner with the state Crime Laboratory testified that tests conducted on more than a dozen items after Nona Dirksmeyer's murder yielded no matches to the two suspects in the case.
Thursday, Kevin Jones' mother Janice took the stand, as well as Nona's mother and stepfather Carol and Duane Dipert and a scientist from the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
They all testified about what they remember from the day Nona died in 2005, and the scientist testified about collecting evidence from Nona's cell phone.
Kevin Jones took the stand Wednesday, describing how he found Nona in her apartment, and apologized for contaminating the crime scene by straddling her and performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
In 2008, Today's THV talked with Kevin Jones and his mother Janice. Check out the story as well as the extended interviews with both.
(Copyright 2010 by Today's THV and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)