OAKLAND (KRON) — Two of the three jurors removed Monday from the Ghost Ship Trial may end up facing contempt of court charges.
This comes as the jurors were replaced after serious misconduct allegations
Judge Trina Thompson tells the court it was a demonstrable form of misconduct that led to Monday’s dismissal of three jurors in the Ghost Ship trial in Oakland.
The judge went on to say the misconduct centered on violating the court’s order to not discuss the trial with anyone, including fellow jurors outside of the courtroom.
Of the three jurors dismissed, two allegedly violated the court’s order and one juror did not.
Derick Almena’s defense team argued all three violated the court’s orders because the one not who did not participate in the misconduct did not report the misconduct of the other two.
“All of them going at the same time, I have never heard of that before,” said legal expert and criminal defense attorney William Cole.
Cole has been keeping an eye on the trial.
He says although dismissing three jurors at once is highly unusual, he doubts there will be any criminal charges filed.
“Well I have never heard of that actually happening that somebody is found in contempt of court and punished for some kind of juror misconduct,” he said. “It seems unlikely that the county is going to start prosecuting jurors for who knows what? But this certainly puts a serious crimp in the trial. It’s now in jeopardy.”
The next hurdle for the jury deliberations — there are five jurors who have scheduling conflicts in the month of September.
One juror requesting to take the whole month of September off.
The judge told the jury proof of prepaid, non-refundable travel arrangements will be taken into consideration.