A jury reportedly deadlocked on Tuesday in the trial of a man who admitted to breaking the thumb off a $4.5 million Chinese terra cotta statue while attending a Christmas-themed ugly sweater party at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

A mistrial was declared after the jury failed to reach a decision on the counts of theft and concealment of an object of cultural heritage, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.


Michael Rohana, 25, of Delaware was attending an after-hours holiday party in 2017 when security footage caught him walking off into a closed museum area including an exhibit of one of the life-size terra cotta warriors known as "The Cavalryman."

Rohana eventually snapped off the thumb of one of the statues, insured at $4.5 million, before slipping the finger into the pocket of his jeans and running out of the room.

“Every time I see this video now, I’m trying to figure out, ‘What was going through your mind? What were you thinking?'” Rohana testified last week. “I don’t know how I could have been so stupid.”

The missing thumb was not noticed by museum staff for two weeks, The Inquirer reported.

The vandalism outraged Chinese officials, who strictly regulate the research and restoration of the terra cotta statues since their discovery in the 1970s. The Philadelphia museum was one of two U.S. museums that were allowed to host a traveling exhibit on the soldiers, which are from the 3rd century B.C. tomb of Chinese Emperor Qin She Huang.

The FBI’s art crime team was brought in and identified Rohana, who immediately confessed and returned the finger from where he has kept it in his bedroom desk drawer, the newspaper reported.

Rohana’s lawyers argued that the charges against their client were extreme and meant to be used to prosecute suspects in meticulous heists, such as those depicted in the movies “Ocean’s Eleven” or “Mission Impossible.”

Rohana "wasn’t in ninja clothing sneaking around the museum. He was a drunk kid in a bright green ugly Christmas sweater,” federal public defender Catherine Henry told the jurors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney K.T. Newton told the jurors that Rohana’s crime was deliberate.

“He took it out of the Franklin Institute and he took it home. That is theft. That is stealing,” Newton said during the trial.

Prosectors now reportedly have until May 15 to determine whether they will retry the case.