Sunday, August 25, 2013
Ind. Decisions - "Jury finds ex-husband guilty of murder"
A jury on Friday evening convicted a Goshen man of murder for brutally killing his ex-wife. The jury reached the verdict after a week-long trial that came close to abruptly ending in a mistrial on Friday afternoon. * * *
The trial was stalled for a couple of hours Friday afternoon, though, after the court found that a juror had brought his own legal research. A bailiff discovered Internet printouts in the jury room right after both the state and defense had rested.
The printouts described various definitions of reasonable doubt. St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley questioned each individual juror until she determined who brought the information. Jurors are not supposed to do their own research on the facts of the case or related legal concepts.
Hurley excused the juror who brought in the research, which happened to be the only man on the jury.
“My apologies,” the juror said, when the judge asked him about the research. “I was trying to understand the best I could.”
The remaining jurors reported the outside information did not influence them. The judge instructed the jurors to only consider the court’s definition of reasonable doubt, given in the official jury instructions at the end of the trial.
Though she researched whether declaring a mistrial would be
appropriate, she decided against it.
Neither Griner nor Cotter asked for a mistrial.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 25, 2013 11:01 AM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions