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Entries in Juror (7)

Sunday
Apr282013

Jodi Arias Trial: Dismissed Juror Says It Was a 'Great Experience'

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- A juror in the Jodi Arias trial who was dismissed after listening to four months of proceedings called his time on the jury a "great experience."

Police in Gilbert, Ariz., said when Daniel Gibb was arrested last Saturday night, he told the arresting officer he was a juror on the Jodi Arias murder trial.

On Tuesday, the officer met with the judge, prosecutor and defense attorneys in a sealed hearing, ABC News' Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV reported.

Two days later, the man who was known as Juror 8, who had taken copious notes throughout the trial and submitted several questions to witnesses on the stand, was dismissed without comment by Judge Sherry Stephens.

"It was a privilege to know the other jurors and I will miss them," Gibb said in a statement to KNXV Saturday. "It was actually a great experience. Thank you for respecting my privacy."

He is the third juror to be dismissed from proceedings since the trial began in the Phoenix courtroom in January.

Fifteen jurors will listen to the rest of the trial, and 12 will enter into deliberations. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Thursday or Friday.

Arias, 32, faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. She initially denied killing Alexander, 30, but claimed two years later that she killed him in self-defense.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
May252012

Is John Edwards Flirting with a Female Juror?

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- After a week of deliberations, the four alternate jurors have become the prime distraction for the assembled press corps and spectators in the courtroom.

On Thursday, the alternates -- three women and one man -- caused something of a stir when they showed up in matching bright yellow shirts, hardly bothering to suppress their snickering as the judge addressed the main panel of jurors.

For nearly four weeks, 16 jurors heard all the evidence in Edwards’ case.  After the closing arguments, Judge Catherine Eagles made the unorthodox decision to extend the service of the four alternate jurors, while the primary panel of 12 deliberated the six felony charges.  So, for the last five days of deliberations, the gang of four alternates has been required to show up at court each day, sent to a holding room with instructions to avoid talking about the case.

Since the alternates were identified last Thursday, it has been impossible to ignore the dynamic between Edwards and one of the female alternates, an attractive young woman with jet-black hair, who seems to have been flirting with Edwards for days.  She smiles at him; he smiles at her.  She giggles; he blushes.

The flirtation has become so obvious that even Edwards’ attorneys have to work to suppress their laughter at the absurdity of it all.

The jury returns on Friday to resume deliberations for a sixth day.  Edwards is accused of using nearly $1 million in campaign donations to hide his affair with his mistress Rielle Hunter.  If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison and fined as much as $1.5 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

'Disgusting' Casey Anthony Behavior Didn't Factor in Murder Verdict

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Jurors were "disgusted" by prosecutors' details of Casey Anthony partying while her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, was missing, but felt it wasn't evidence of whether or not she murdered Caylee, the jury foreman said in a televised interview.

"We were asked ... to convict on cause of death," the foreman, juror number 11, said on Fox News' On the Record with Greta van Susteren in interview excerpts aired Tuesday evening.

"Much of the time we were in that trial," he added, "much of it dealt with her actions afterward.  And that's something that, although it is disgusting, it is heinous, we weren't really able to take into consideration with the coming down with the verdict with the indictments."

The jury foreman, who was photographed from behind and asked that his name not be used, said the jury deliberated on the murder charge mostly by considering evidence such as duct tape found on Caylee Anthony's remains, the possible use of chloroform and the circumstances on the day of the disappearance.  But jurors found the case for murder lacking.

They eventually found Casey Anthony, 25, not guilty of murdering Caylee, but guilty of lying to police four times during their investigation.

An early vote on the murder charge inside the jury room was 10-2 to find Casey Anthony not guilty, he said.

"I think emotion [about Casey Anthony's behavior] could have played into it, just gut response," the juror said, but he never asked his fellow jurors if that was the case.

Eventually, the two dissenters came around, he added, as jurors considered what they felt were holes in the prosecution's evidence and the wording of the murder indictment.

"When the prosecution rested...I was stunned," he said.  "I thought there would be more.  I really did.  And I was waiting for more. ...A lot of us felt that way, that there was not enough evidence to fill in the gray area that we needed to be filled in."

The prosecution gave details on Casey Anthony's partying, perhaps as a circumstantial case for a motive.  They claimed that during the 31 days Caylee's disappearance went unreported, her mother virtually moved in with her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro.  She partied with him in clubs around Orlando, Florida, competed in a "hot body" contest, and got a tattoo on her shoulder that said "Bella Vita," or the beautiful life.

"That's what made it very hard for us" to not find Casey Anthony guilty of murder, the jury foreman said.  "We wish there was something else we could look at that would be a felony, something where -- and ... we don't have the ability to put the laws in place to do this for this -- but something where if you don't report a child missing then it's going to be a felony and for every hour or day, or whatever, that this goes on that it gets worse and worse.  Because her actions were disgusting."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul122011

Casey Anthony Trial: Jury Had Suspicions of George Anthony

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The Casey Anthony jury was so suspicious of the accused's father, George Anthony, that jurors believed he could be covering up a crime or even potentially could be a killer himself, the jury foreman said in a televised interview.

"There was a suspicion of him," the juror said.  "That was a part of our conversation that we had."

The jury foreman, juror number 11, voiced his feelings about George Anthony during an interview on Fox News' On the Record with Greta van Susteren, in which he was photographed from behind and would not reveal his name.  Part one of the interview aired Monday, with the suggestion that more would air in coming days.

As with other jurors who have been interviewed, the foreman said the panel was unconvinced by the evidence that Casey Anthony, 25, murdered her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee -- and was not even certain that a murder was committed.

"We don't know the cause of death," the juror said.  "Everything was speculation."

Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of lying to police four times.  She is scheduled to be released from jail Sunday, July 17.

The foreman told van Susteren that jurors found key prosecution evidence involving duct tape and chloroform to be ambiguous, that they thought it plausible that Caylee could have drowned accidentally, as the defense suggested, and didn't think it was proven that Caylee's decomposing body was in the trunk of the Anthony family car or, if it was, who put it there.

Though jurors were suspicious of George Anthony, they did not put much stock in defense claims that he may have been a molester, the juror said.

"There was no evidence to back that, so I really couldn't take that into consideration," the juror said.  "That was not a discussion of ours when we got into the deliberations, as far as the sexual abuse."

"What was," he added, "was George Anthony's actions and his demeanor and the way that he presented some things up there on the stand."

"I really thought that George had very selective memory in the whole regard," he said.  "I thought that George, at times, could remember some things as vividly as if things happened the day before."

At other times, he said, George Anthony's memory seemed to grow fuzzy.

"It raised questions," he said.  "It really did."

Asked if jurors thought it was possible George Anthony helped cover up a death, was involved in an accidental death or was "a murderer," the juror said, "All three.  We don't know. ...The suspicions were raised" in the jury room.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

Casey Anthony Juror: 'Sick to Our Stomachs' over Not Guilty Verdict

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony juror Jennifer Ford said that she and the other jurors cried and were "sick to our stomachs" after voting to acquit Casey Anthony of charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

"I did not say she was innocent," said Ford, who had previously only been identified as juror No. 3. "I just said there was not enough evidence. If you cannot prove what the crime was, you cannot determine what the punishment should be."

Ford, a 32-year-old nursing student at St. Petersburg College, praised the jurors, but said when deliberations began there were "a lot of conflicting ideas." At first, people came down on both sides of whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter, Ford said, and the first vote was 10-2 for "not guilty."

"I toggled on manslaughter and not guilty," Ford told ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran in an exclusive TV interview. "It doesn't feel good. It was a horrible decision to have to make."

The jury's jaw-dropping not guilty verdict shocked court observers, but it was also a difficult moment for the panel, Ford said. No one from the jury was willing to come out and talk to the media in the hours after the verdict.

"Everyone wonders why we didn't speak to the media right away," Ford said. "It was because we were sick to our stomach to get that verdict. We were crying, and not just the women. It was emotional and we weren't ready. We wanted to do it with integrity and not contribute to the sensationalism of the trial."

Ford said she thought Casey Anthony's claim that her 2-year-old daughter accidentally drowned and she lied for three years was more believable.

"I'm not saying I believe the defense," she said. "Obviously, it wasn't proven so I'm not taking that and speculating at all. But it's easier for me logically to get from point A to point B" via the defense argument.

Instead of murder, Casey Anthony, 25, was found guilty of four counts of lying to law enforcement and could be released from jail as early as Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, the prosecutor and an alternate juror agreed on why the jury refused to convict Anthony: they couldn't prove how Caylee Anthony died.

Russell Huekler, one of five alternate jurors who were present for all the testimony and sequestered along with the 12 other jurors, said Wednesday that he would have delivered the same verdict and that he was shocked by the public outrage over the trial's outcome.

"The prosecution failed to prove their case and there was reasonable doubt," Huekler said. "Again, they didn't show us how Caylee died. They didn't show us a motive. I'm sorry people feel that way. ...These were 17 total jurors. They really listened to this case and kept an open mind."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr072011

New York Juror's Racist Remarks Outrages Judge

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A federal judge in Brooklyn became infuriated with a potential juror this week after she made racist comments about blacks and Latinos and called New York City police lazy, in what some in the courtroom viewed as an attempt to evade jury duty.  But instead, the judge ordered her to keep coming to court indefinitely.

The judge later relented, releasing the woman after a day of duty in which she sat alone in a holding tank.  He allowed her to sneak out the back door to avoid the media.

The potential juror's responses on the jury questionnaire raised the ire of U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

After reading through her questionnaire and seeing the disparaging remarks, Garaufis told the woman, "This is an outrage, and so are you!"

The identity of Juror No. 799 has not been released, but public court records revealed that she is in her 20s, lives in Brooklyn, is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Asian descent who works for a large garment production company.

The woman has been dismissed from the death penalty trial of alleged mob boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, but officials initially said she could serve as a juror in another trial.

"I have 18 years on the job and I've seen every excuse in the book," said Anthony Frisolone, the court reporter who took transcriptions of the proceedings.  "It's deplorable that people try this stuff.  I find it offensive."

It's unclear whether Juror No. 799 made the statements in her questionnaire because she was trying to duck jury duty or if she really had such beliefs.  Garaufis' law clerk, John Fitzpatrick, said the judge was unable to comment on the issue or elaborate on how long the juror might be required to stay on jury duty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

Flirty Juror in Petit Home Invasion Trial Rattles Judge

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, CT) -- The third week of testimony in the penalty phase of the trial of convicted murderer Steven Hayes began with twist. Judge Jon Blue revealed to the courtroom this morning that the sole remaining alternate juror, a female, attempted to pass a note to one of the court marshals Friday that read: "Sunday 5pm. Side Street Grill. Can we?"

The note was apparently intended to elicit a romantic affair. The judge called it a matter of "spectacular" and "poor" judgment and further said it was a "goddamn dumb thing to do," all the more so because several alternate jurors had already been dismissed -- leaving an extremely thin jury pool.

If there were any issues with one of the sitting jurors, Blue said Monday, the entire trial could have been thrown into question.

Hayes was convicted last month on 16 felony counts for his role in the July 2007 Cheshire, CT, home invasion that left Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, dead.

The embarrassed juror was questioned in open court about the note and flushed red, hiding her head in her hands.

"I have embarrassed myself," she said.

Blue eventually ruled that she should not be dismissed as an alternate juror, because the situation "did not affect her impartiality" and they needed her on the panel.

Monday, the jury was read a letter from Hayes to his only son, Steven Jr., dated 2005 in which the elder Hayes admitted to being a drug addict and apologized for being a bad father.

"So you see bad drugs and my using cost me everything," wrote. "It is cunning, baffling and powerful."

Hayes ended his letter, "Steven, I love you and hope to one day have the chance to make it up to you."

Though prosecutors have pushed hard for the death penalty, Hayes' defense team has called a string of witnesses over two weeks in an attempt to bolster their claim that Hayes was merely a klutzy burglar who followed the whim of co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky.

Komisarjevsky, 30, is scheduled to stand trial early next year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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