Okay, beat this jury duty story..
MOD - please put in appropriate forum.. SIG? WTF?
Finally got finished with the criminal trial they put me on Monday.
The juror selection process was pretty unusual in my experience. They brought 40 to 45 of us in to fill 13 chairs, and they went through the WHOLE group ! We knew at that point from the attorney's questions that it was some kind of assault/abuse/stalking case, because the defense kept using his premptory challenges to remove all the women he could.
Actually, the attorneys agreed to go ahead with 12 jurors and no 13th alternate because the last guy to be called, ( a local musician with a bizarre sense of humor ) claimed that he couldn't judge the case objectively because earlier in the year his girlfriend had dragged him through a broken window.. "Judge, you can still see some of the tooth marks on my nose !" Then he explained that since he played and recorded until late at night or early in the morning, he wouldn't be sleeping and might have "lucid dreams of the DaVinci Code while the testimony was in progress.." He waved around the book for emphasis.
As he was dismissed, he surreptitiously winked at the rest of us as he left the room.
OK, so we get our group of 12 and the trial starts. It's to be an Aggravated Stalking charge against a really big guy,a bounty hunter no less, filed by his "soon to be hopefully ex-wife", an attractive, inappropriately dressed redhead about half his age.
I don't know, call me old fashioned, but if I'm trying to convince people I'm being unjustly stalked, I don't think I'd wear skintight stretch pants with nothing discernable beneath...
So she takes the stand and Identifies the defendant as her husband of 10 years. She has been separated from him since a domestic violence incident in late '02. The divorce has been pending, he's opposing it in every way he can.
Q - How did you come to meet the defendant?
A- I've known him most of my life since I was a little girl - a teenager.
Q- And how did you know him?
A- He was married to my mother..
This guy was her stepfather and became her confidant when she was having "boyfriend trouble". He seduced her and charmed her into having an affair over a period of years. Ultimately, when her mother was pregnant with his child,
...and here's where it REALLY gets ****ed up..
SHE got knocked up by him as well !!!! She's 'almost' 18 at this point, so when her family completely implodes, she stays with him and eventually marries him.
At this point, of course, she's got no one else in the world to talk to but this manipulative con man.
Two more kids later, he breaks down a door to get at her during an argument, assaults her, and she leaves, ending up in Ann Arbor in a Safe House for battered women and their kids. She files for divorce and gets a Personal Protection Order from the court.
He calls her work constantly, trying to get her in trouble. Over the next few months, he uses the court mandated child - visitation drop off times to try to ingratiate himself back into her life. He uses his Church elders to try to convince her that she has to get back with him. He buys her gifts, ( which she foolishly accepts ), notably a wedding band that he never got her.They even spend a couple hours in a motel a month before the **** hits the fan. (bad idea.)
Finally, she wises up and cuts off all contact. He goes nuts, and one morning she drives out of this safe house and he's there. he pulls in behind her, honking and gesturing. She drives to the nearest Police station and he takes off.
She gets to work, shaken, and decides not to park where her employer pays, but chooses a closer parking structure. as she comes out she sees him, watching for her where she usually parks..
She gets in to work and leaves at the end of the day to pick up (their) kid, who is going to a school that he allegedly doesn't know. He's there, with the chld in his truck, demanding to talk with her and coerce her to go to a "spiritual meeting", at which he can put more pressure on her. She agrees to do anything, and gets her kid back. Needless to say, she doesn't go to the meeting.
The next day, she leaves work early to get the child, to head off the possibility that he'll be there. But as they are driving away from the school, the boy cries out, "There's daddy !" He followes her and as she's trying to reveerse direction in a driveway, he parks her in and attempts to talk to her and give her some things ( against the terms of the PPO). She calls the police from inside her car, manages to get away by backing nearly into his truick, and heads for a different police station he folows her till he sees where she's going, and peels away, only to be stopped a couple of blocks later. He greets the officer by saying, "I'm the one you're looking for.."
He insisted on testifying. Had he not done so, it would have been a hard decision. He sat up there as placidly as Mahatma Ghandi, until the prosecutor finally got him riled.. Then he was impressively intimidating.
Q- So, with all of your bounty hunting skills, is there any placce in the world she could go where you wouldn't be able to find her?
A- No. (smirks)
It took MANY hours to get three jurors to acknowlege that, despite the unsavory personality of the victim, SHE wasn't on trial and what he did was designed to scare the crap out of her and bring her back under his control, in violation of a court order.
I thought at one point that there was going to be an assault IN the jury room.. ( wonder how many times that's happened? ) The officer in charge of the jury knocked and stuck heer head in to tell us to go home last night just as I loudly informed one of my co-jurors that he didn't know what the **** he was talking about..
Finally, we unanimously convicted him. The judge told us we absolutely did the right thing.
I don't know how long he'll be incarcerated. Hopefully long enough so he can't marry his grandchild.
Last edited by CBRVFR; 04-21-2004 at 6:54 PM.
Reason: Wrong forum ??