NEW YORK — After nearly three months of testimony about a vast drug-smuggling conspiracy steeped in violence, a jury began deliberations Monday at the U.S. trial of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The day ended without jurors reaching a verdict for Guzman, who faces life in prison if convicted. They were to resume deliberations Tuesday morning.

The jury has heard months of testimony about Guzman’s rise to power as the head of the Sinaloa cartel. Prosecutors say he is responsible for smuggling at least 200 tons of cocaine into the United States and for a wave of killings in turf wars with other cartels.

Guzman, 61, is notorious for escaping from prison twice in Mexico. In closing arguments, prosecutor Andrea Goldbarg said he was plotting yet another breakout when he was sent in 2017 to the U.S., where he has been in solitary confinement ever since.

The defendant wanted to escape “because he is guilty and he never wanted to be in a position where he would have to answer for his crimes,” Goldbarg told the jury. “He wanted to avoid sitting right there. In front of you.”

The defense claims Guzman’s role has been exaggerated by cooperating witnesses who are seeking leniency in their own cases. In his closing, defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman assailed the case as a “fantasy” and urged the jury not to believe cooperators who “lie, steal, cheat, deal drugs and kill people” for a living.

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