It was just over a month ago that the jury decided upon a guilty verdict in the DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide trial of John Goodman, the Houston multimillionaire and polo mogul.
Apparently that short six-hour deliberation wasn't so sweet: One juror, Michael St. John, says he remains unconvinced of Goodman's guilt, and claims that the other jurors had their minds made up before the deliberations began.
One juror says he remains unconvinced of Goodman's guilt, and claims that the other jurors had their minds made up before the deliberations began.
This came out in a round of questioning conducted by Judge Jeffrey Colbath on Monday — and initiated by Roy Black, Goodman's defense attorney, who alternate juror Ruby DeLano had contacted about juror misconduct.
In response to Colbath's questions, five of the six jurors said they did not make up their minds before deliberation, they did not want to punish Goodman because he was rich and they were not threatened or intimidated by other jurors to vote a certain way. St. John was the exception.
Court reporter Jane Musgrave recorded the conversation between the juror and Judge Colbath:
Colbath: Before the deliberations began, did you overheard any conversations between jurors that they had their minds made up?
St. John: Yes. They said, "We know he's guilty. Let's just sign the paperwork and get out of here." Acknowledged that the words were different but that was the sentiment.
St. John: I thought people had their minds made up.
Colbath: The verdict you rendered, was that an accurate reflection of your view.
St. John: NO
Colbath: So, you think he's not guilty?
St. John: Yes
Colbath: Why didn't you tell me that?
St. John: I didn't feel the whole process was right. People wanted to get out of here. "I was making the decision because of the pressure I got from them... I kind of went along."
Colbath: When did you get second thoughts?
St. John: When I walked out there. I knew I shouldn't . . . It was hard to me to go with that decision. Was it right? Probably not.
Colbath is expected to decide by Friday or Monday whether St. John's statements warrant a new trial, and has set the sentencing date for May 11. Goodman faces up to 30 years in jail in the death of Scott Wilson in Feb. 2010.