An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial Thursday after a deadlocked jury said it couldn't decide whether to sentence her to death for the murder of her ex-boyfriend.
That means a new jury will be chosen, but the first-degree murder conviction still stands.
A retrial for the penalty phase will begin on July 18, Judge Sherry Stephens said. A status conference has been scheduled for June 20.
Since Tuesday, jurors had been deliberating whether Arias, 32, should get a death sentence for murdering ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008.
A source with knowledge of the jury's vote said there was an 8-4 split in favor of sentencing Arias to death.
Jurors refused to talk to the media and immediately left the courtroom.
The hung jury brought to a close a dramatic chapter in a high-profile case that has lasted for months, drawing spectators who lined up for courtroom seats and waited anxiously outside the courthouse.
But the closely watched trial isn't over yet.
In many states, the death penalty would be off the table if the jury couldn't agree.
"It's a very unusual circumstance, but it is part of Arizona statute that yes, if you get to this third phase, the penalty phase, and there is a hung jury, it means another jury comes in," said CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, who has covered the Arias trial from the outset.
In a written statement, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said prosecutors "will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase."
"We appreciate the jury's work in the guilt and aggravation phases of the trial and now we will assess, based upon available information, what the next steps will be," he said.
Legal experts debate what's next
Speculation surged that prosecutors might consider offering Arias a plea deal rather than going through the lengthy steps necessary to find new jurors and present evidence to them.
"I don't think by any means that this is a sure thing you retry the penalty phase," said Mark Geragos, a criminal defense attorney.
A lot depends, he said, on exactly how many jurors were willing to go with the death penalty this time around.
"If it was 11 to 1 ... for death, you can be sure the prosecutor is going to want a retrial. If it tilted the other way ... they may just decide, 'No, we're not going to do that, we'll try and cut a deal,' " he said.
Another key step for prosecutors will be speaking with Alexander's family to decide whether to proceed, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said.
"The prosecutors have to speak to the family, because we know this family has been in the courtroom day in and day out. They were visibly shaken and upset when this hung jury came back," she said. "And so there's no question in my mind that it's premature to say this will, indeed, go to another penalty phase."
CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said that prosecutors have little motivation to agree to a plea deal that offers Arias a life sentence.
If the prosecution won in a retrial, he said, Arias would receive the death penalty. But even if they lost, she would probably get "the same life sentence she would obtain in a negotiated deal," he said.
"The only real roadblock to a penalty retrial would be the strong request of the victim's family to accept to a plea and end the process now," he said. "I think such a request unlikely."
Emotions ran high in the courtroom as the jury's inability to agree on a sentence was announced. Arias appeared to be on the verge of tears. One of Alexander's sisters sobbed.
Even the normally stoic judge's voice cracked as she dismissed jurors.