HAS JUDGE SHERRY K. STEPHENS, presiding Judge in the JODI ARIAS murder trial, lost control of the trial? Kirk Nurmi, JODI ARIAS attorney, told Judge Stephens that he saw an HLN cameraman taking pictures of the jury as the filed into court. Juror #5, who was booted off the jury, is back in the court today and watching the trial.
Jodi Arias wants a new trial because she says juror misconduct has made her current trial unconstitutional. Arias is on trial for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008. Arias’ attorneys base their motion for a mistrial on information about Juror 5’s behavior that was discovered in a sealed hearing last Thursday.
“Ms. Arias takes the position that the statements Juror 5 made in front of her fellow jurors amounts to misconduct,” Arias attorneys wrote. “Given the evidence that came forward on March 28, 2013, it is beyond legitimate dispute that Juror 5 is not fair and impartial making her unfit to continue as a juror.”
Juror 5 is a married, white female in her 30s. Court observers have said she is the most visible juror from the gallery because she has a “unique hair style.”
Judge Sherry Stephens held the sealed hearing last Thursday to discuss with the jurors whether any of them had witnessed prosecutor Juan Martinez posing for pictures with fans outside the courthouse.
Arias’ attorneys want Juror 5 kicked off the jury if the judge doesn’t grant a mistrial. Removing Juror 5 may be a remedy, because there are 18 jurors right now. Twelve jurors will be chosen before deliberations, and the rest will be alternates that could be called in deliberate if necessary.