October 10, 2014

Smack talk to get out of jury duty lands man in jail cell

10-10-2014 Oklahoma:

Memo to future jurors: This may be the most disastrous way to get out of jury duty.

A Douglas County juror grew increasingly panicked this week as the brief trial of a sex offender, accused of failing to register, spilled into a second day.

The trial began Wednesday with the juror mentioning how he didn’t want to miss work because of all the bills he had to pay.

It ended Thursday with the juror in a jail cell, a judge fuming, veteran court officials shaking their heads and the sex offender acquitted.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said prosecutor Tom McKenney, who has been practicing for 36 years.

“That was a first,” said District Court Clerk John Friend. “You’ll have people try to get out of jury duty, but I definitely haven’t seen anyone go to this extreme.”

It started Wednesday with the trial of Michael T. Hodges Jr., charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

A twenty something juror who works as a carpenter doing odd jobs during the day and as a bartender at night told attorneys during jury selection that he had bills due and was worried about missing work. ..Continued.. by Todd Cooper

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