But instead of a dramatic conclusion, there was confusion.
What happens next is anyone's guess now that a mistrial has been declared in the case against a Baltimore police officer in the death of Freddie Gray.
Judge Barry Williams, who presided over the trial and is assigned to the trials for the five other officers charged in Gray's death, will meet with attorneys in his chambers to determine how to proceed.
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys are under a gag order which prevents them from talking. A uniformed deputy was stationed outside. "But it is a bit of a kick in the chest". And yet, Porter's lawyers defended his failure to seatbelt Gray. If they push their trails back to go after Porter again and they fail, he has absolutely no incentive to help them.
The message was the same on Wednesday, after roughly 16 hours of deliberation.
Shipley told CNN he is hopeful Porter will be retried "as soon as possible and that his next jury will reach a verdict".
But the mistrial was a disappointment for some residents in need of a definitive resolution.
Elder C.D. Witherspoon speaks to a small group of protesters at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues Wednesday night.
After the announcement and into the evening, protesters marched through the streets and demonstrated in front of City Hall and other prominent buildings. Uniformed police officers took up positions throughout the city, including by the courthouse and police headquarters, and at least two demonstrators were arrested. His trial lasted a little more than two weeks.
Gray died after suffering a broken neck in a police van while handcuffed and shackled.
Another defense lawyer, Victor Del Pino, said that even if the jury had voted 10 to 2 or 11 to 1 to acquit Porter, prosecutors would face enormous pressure to redo the case.
They also said Porter did not buckle Gray properly into a seat belt and did not follow police protocol.
"If he's convicted and sitting in jail, it'll be of no significance to the officers if he's convicted on his first or second trial, but the perception is clearly that it's a victory for the defense", said Baltimore attorney Andy Alperstein. A retrial might depend on how the jury deadlock broke down - how many drivers were leaning which way. "A mistrial means that the prosecution did not do their jobs good enough", he said. "But in this case, I don't think he is guilty of anything". It is unclear whether Porter's retrial will affect that scheduling. Without postponements or continuances, his case moved swiftly and his trial began just seven months after Gray's death.
Van driver Officer Caesar Goodson is the next officer due in court, with his trial set for January 6.
The jury charged with deciding Porter's fate had been deliberating the officer's charges of second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office since Monday afternoon.
Colbert says that if prosecutors elect to retry Porter, they'll probably seek to delay the other trials and the judge would likely agree.
As for the man at the center of the mistrial, Officer Porter reportedly had little to say when reached by phone by The Baltimore Sun.
Officer William Porter still faces charges, including manslaughter, in connection with Freddie Gray's death in April.
"It was never going to be easy".
Davis said no officers used protective gear Wednesday, though it was close at hand. The jurors "did the best that they could". The prosecution missed an opportunity to seriously sway future juries with an early guilty verdict.
In addition, the Justice Department is close to an agreement with the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, to bring sweeping changes to the agency, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. She said that jurors should "hold him responsible" for what happened to Gray inside the van, which she at one point referred to as "his casket on wheels".
Here to weigh in on the case and the way forward for the state of Maryland is Amy Dillard.
For City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the stakes are high.