A Notorious Convicted Killer Could Get a Second Trial

April 28, 2009 8:01:59 PM PDT
A judge is now considering if jury misconduct occurred in the Paul Hurth murder trial. Deborah White served as juror number 10 in the Hurth murder trial back in 2000. White said, "I knew it was a big case. It was hard at times to do what we did." The jury convicted the former police officer of voluntary manslaughter for killing Ralph Gawor, the husband of his mistress. White testified in federal court on Tuesday saying at one point jurors could not decide on a verdict. She said someone looked in the dictionary to find the difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. White said, "I don't know who did it. I don't know who brought it in. But somebody did and that convinced the rest of the jury. I wasn't going to have a hung jury on just myself."

Because of that statement, a federal judge is now considering a retrial for Hurth. ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said jurors using a dictionary could be grounds for a new trial. Capozzi said, "That's improper, because what may be a definition in laymen's terms will not be a definition in legal terms."

But the jury fore person disagreed with White's account. Hurth's new attorney Kent Russell said if the man gets a new trial the jury would not reopen the entire notorious case. They will only decide between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Russell said, "It would substantially lower his exposure where he will be eligible for parole soon as opposed for being eligible in 2019."

Attorneys expect the judge to take more than a month to decide this case. The judge can make a range of decisions from finding no jury misconduct to ordering a new trial.

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