Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jury Duty - Day 3 - PM

After lunch we deliberated another two hours.

Count #1 - Terroristic Threats against Mrs. R. - the judge dismissed this count before giving the case to us.Count #2 - Terroristic Threats against Ms L. - Some jurors thought that since we had no proof that he threatened her verbally this count should be not guilty. We decided that her running from him and screaming indicated that she felt threatened. Verdict: Guilty

Count #3 - Aggravated Assault - the wording here said that "the defendent did, then and there, make an attack upon the victim with a deadly weapon, a knife, and with an implement capable of causing injury, to wit a shovel, and did cause serious bodily injury to the victim." One debate here centered on whether there was "serious" bodily injury. Some thought that paramedic's opinion that her nose was broken qualified. Since she would not seek medical attention, it was not clear whether her nose was actually broken. Another consideration was whether there was a "weapon." Since the knife was never proved to exist, we finally decided that we could not say he "made an attack upon the victim with a deadly weapon." We had been instructed that in order to say "guilty" on any count, we must believe that all the conditions of that count were true. Verdict: Not Guilty

Count #4 - Damage to Property - This was the easiest one. Since all windows except on in the vehicle were broken, it was clear to us that the defendent broke them. Verdict: Guilty

Count #5 - Simple Battery - The qualifier here was: did he headbutt her? This took more discussion that I expected. Verdict: Guilty

Count #6 - Criminal Trespass - This was very highly debated, and the final verdict was unenthusiastically agreed upon by two of the jurors. They believed that because the defendent DID finally leave the property, he was not guilty of criminal trespass. Some also believed that since the defendent had spent the night before in the home, he had reason to believe that he could continue to stay there after the owner told him to leave. We finally decided that because he had to be told several times to leave before he did so, and because he took time to break all the car windows before he left, he met the guidelines for guilt on this count. Verdict: Guilty

Count #7 - Battery - This count was the same as #5 except it included the element that the victim was a member of the same household as the defendent. They had lived together off and on for 15 years and had spent the previous evening together on this property. Verdict: Guilty

Once the verdicts were read, the jury was dismissed and left the courtroom before anyone else was dismissed. I was surprised how fast this part went; We were probably back in the courtroom 15 minutes after lunch. I was also disappointed not to know what sentence the defendent received. All in all, this was a fascinating experience. Fellow jurors were: Tracy, Keaton, Shane, Linda, Becky, Susan, Nancy, Joseph, Angie, Melissa, and Leigh Ann.

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