Friday, February 15, 2008

Bobby Cutts Murder Trial: Verdict Reached!

Newsnet5 is reporting a verdict has been reached and will be read at 10:40 am. I will be blogging about it in real time.

We see movement in the courtroom, and we have sound. I'm hoping my connection stays stable. Nope. It's still the wonky camera operators. We can see that a still photographer is setting up his tripod, and there is sound in the background.

I ask donchas how she is feeling and she says her stomach is in knots.

We hear the Judge is concerned that, "The sound is still on," and then we lose sound.

What a way to end the week. Last night, there was a guest on the Cleveland paper "shoutout" chat room who said a verdict had been reached. I didn't know whether or not to believe it. Anyone can say anything anonymously and they did not have to identify themselves in the chat room. The individual just posted as "Guest," which many do.

donchais here!
These are the charges against Cutts:
















D: The families have entered the court!

S: The courtroom has filled up! It appears that the Judge addressed the families. And, it looks like there are complicated seating arrangements. Looks like the press was just let in.

D: Oh, my gosh! It's really happening.

S: Cutts has just been brought in. There is now a sound overlay reporting. The jurors took a smoke break, and then there was a verdict. Looks like Newsnet5 switched to live cameras, and not the computer run camera.

S: They will go live in the courtroom as soon as the Judge hits the sound I expect. Patty looks wiped out.

S: We are live! The Judge is speaking, everyone is there. Cutts is looking nervous. If anyone makes a cough, they will be removed. Judge is going to great lengths to try to maintain order. No interviews or photographs inside the Start County courthouse. Families will be escorted outside the courthouse so they can meet with the media.

S: The camera moves back and forth from Cutts to Patty Davis. The jurors are going to be let in now. Donchais says, "Wow! Look how many sheriffs they have."

S: Judge will ask the jurors some questions, and he put some information on the record. The jurors were sequestered under the supervision of his bailiffs. Jurors had no TV, radios, etc., and they were on a separate floor. Their telephone calls were monitored.

S: Have each one of you been sequestered during the duration of the trial. Have any of you NOT been sequestered during the trial. No affirmative response. During that time, were you under the influence of outside influences. Or were any of you, having outside influences that affected your verdict. No affirmitave response. Has anyone had any communication with you from the court, except when you were here in the court on the record? Or have any one of you received any information? There is not an affirmative response. More questions along this lines. Has anyone tried to influence your verdict in the jury room. No affirmative response.

S: A question is put to the alternates. No affirmative answer.

S: Juror # 492 was the foreperson. It's a male voice.

S: The Judge leafs through the verdict forms. More questions to the forperson about sequestration.

S: Donchais says, "Cutts isn't looking so cocky today. This better be guilty." I guess you can tell where she stands!

Count one: NOT GUILTY!

GUILTY on lesser count!

Count two: GUILTY!

Specification one to count two: Guilty! Unlawful termination of pregnancy.

Specification two to count two: Guilty! With aggravated burglary.

Specification three to count two: Guilty! Causing the death of unborn fetus under 13 years of age.

Count three: GUILTY! Aggravated murder!

Specification one to count three: Guilty!

Specification two to count three: Guilty!

Specification three to count three: Guilty!

Count four: GUILTY! Aggravated burglary!

Count five: GUILTY! Gross abuse of a corpse! (Jessie)

Count six: GUILTY! Gross abuse of a corpse! (Baby Chloe)

Count seven: GUILTY! Endangering children! (Blake)

S: So the question is, is Cutts eligible for the death penalty?

Trial now moves forward to the sentencing phase. And yes, he is still eligible for the death penalty. He doesn't avoid it.

Judge is speaking. Anything anyone wants to put on the record? The Judge is going to poll the jurors on each count.

Oh man, this will take awhile.

Many of the verdict forums were dated February 14th.

Donchais says, "The fact that he still faces death, I'm happy." I've never been a proponent of the death penalty, so I will be watching to see how the penalty phase plays out.

Wow. Newsnet5 cut their live camera feed, and we are now back to the computer camera feed.

Cutts is quite still. He has hardly moved or made an expression through all this polling of the jury. Cutts's attorneys whisper and confer during the jury polling.

Donchais and I wonder if new evidence can be presented at the penalty phase.

The jury has exited the courtroom. State, defense, anything you wish to put on the record at this time? The attorneys and Judge are conferring. Cutts was just looking over at his family. Now Cutts is looking over at the gallery again.

Attorney's are now sitting down. Defense now has a matter to bring to the Judge's attention. Judge asks Ranke to go to the podium.

We believe the jury's finding is inconsistent. Has to do with the specification of the findings, and the defense is requesting a mistrial. The jury has lost it's way, and we are asking to find a mistrial.

Mack now addresses the court. It appears that the jury is very confused. Because of the dates of the signings of the jury forms, the jury is very confused as to the aggravated burglary.

CRAP! Both donchias and I lost our feed. It froze. Back live. The Judge is quoting some cases about inconsistencies in verdict counts. The courtroom sound is terrible. They switched to outside the courtroom live and then switched back. We are back on the Judge.

Judge rules that they are NOT legally inconsistent verdicts.

Judge now asking the family of Cutts and the family of Davis to leave at this time. Everyone else asking to leave. And the feed to the courtroom has been cut, to go to an on air live report.

Donchais and I believe that Newsnet5 doesn't know WTF their doing.

There is now a live feed to outside the courtroom that they are feeding to TV.

Cutts's family chooses not to speak to the media at this time. Cutts's mother had a scarf over her face.

Crap. No sound. Don't forget that Newsnet5 is "pioneering" this live coverage.

Jessie's family will get to testify during the sentencing phase.

Defense attorney Mack: They are still under gag order. Once mitigation is over, then he can talk. Mack can't comment. Ranke, "We are all remaining strong and continuing our fight for Mr. Cutts." Mack, "....need to comply with the gag order at this time."

There were some tears on Bobby Cutts's side, but most were very silent, no emotion when the verdicts were read.

We are waiting to see if Jessie's family will speak to the press.

Donchais and I are not getting any pictures from Newsnet5, so maybe her family decided not to speak. If there's any news, we will try to bring it to you asap.