ATLANTA: The fate of former Coca-Cola secretary Joya Williams is hanging in the balance after her trial jury informed the court on Thursday it was unable to reach a verdict.

"We are a hung jury, have taken several polls and we feel we are unable to reach a decision," Judge J Owen Forrester was told by the jury foreperson.

Despite the fact that the jury had spent nine hours across two days considering the case, Judge Forrester refused to declare a mistrial and instead instructed the jurors to return to their deliberations and report back Friday.

The hapless Williams, who has steadfastly declared her innocence of conspiracy to steal the beverage behemoth's trade secrets, faces a maximum prison sentence of ten years if convicted.

Prior to the allegations of conspiracy, she was secretary to Sanchez Lamelas, Coca-Cola's global brand director at the company's headquarters.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff