Sunday, May 15, 2011

James Fayed Murder-For-Hire Day 5 Part I

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Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
I’m inside Dept. 109 and on my laptop but I can’t get connected to the court’s free WiFi. I’ve decided to try to use my laptop today and I'll take notes in a word processing program and upload them to blogger after I've edited them for my horrible typing skills. If you've read any of my notes from the Conrad Murray preliminary hearing that have not been edited, you already know how bad my typing skills are.

Harmon is talking to the family, preparing them for whats coming up and the next witnesses I think.

“Sometimes, people buy a house.....” That’s all I overhear. The detective enters.

A friend is with Dawn and Scott but I don’t know who she is. (I found out days later, this is Pamela’s other sister, Gretta (sp?).)

The court reporter from last Monday is here, the one that I did not see on the first three days.

Jackson enters and hands Dawn a CD. A black attorney introduces herself to Kennedy’s clerk.

The prosecution team standing by their table, chats in the well. DA clerk, AJ, Harmon, and the detective.

Harmon is asked by someone from the court to stand in on a “short notice” for us. “Sure,” he replies.

JK takes the bench.

A case is called. This looks like it’s a status update. Completed domestic violence program.

JK: Good job Mr. (xxxx).

JK: One of you prosecutors is standing in on this?

EH: I’m sorry. Your honor. Eric Harmon for the people.

Probation to be continued.

JK: You’re still looking for work?

Mr. X: Yes.

JK: Progress reports set and back in 90 days. Thank you Mr. (xxxx). Anything else?

Defense attorney I think.... or someone from the public defenders office. Another case is sent forward. Yes, I think public defender’s office.

Werksman and his staff are not here yet. Other attorney’s are in the well, sitting behind the prosecution area.

Judge Kennedy is still on the bench and I think Shawn the bailiff is getting a defendant. I think that’s what I heard Judge Kennedy say.

9:09 am: Werksman enters. Another reporter enters and sits behind the family.

Monday afternoon, I saw juror #8 write out something on a notepad and give it to the bailiff to give to the court.

I have no idea what that’s about or if they are even going to get to it today. He could have written something out to have him excused for jury duty, or it could be in relation to the phone call that the court received from someone claiming to be a juror, but never identified themselves.

Werksman and the prosecution team speak over by the podium. I’m guessing Harmon is explaining something to Werksman about what’s coming up

Wouldn’t you know, the one day I decide to use my laptop, the court’s wifi doesn’t work. Frustration!

Two defendants are are brought into the courtroom. It’s Simmons and Marquez, the co-defendants in the murder-for-hire! Their case is continued to June 14th.

(The following day, I ask Marjorie of the Ventura Co. Star if she knew which defendant was in orange {more serious} and which was in the blue jumpsuit. Her memory was that both were in blue. I clearly remember one being in orange.)

And that’s it. The defendants are back in the holding cell area.

There might be one more matter.

Jackson, Harmon and the detective are standing over in front of the jury box. I’ve noticed that several times in cases, the prosecution team will stand over by the jury box. It’s not just Alan Jackson that does this. I’ve seen Shawn Presby and Paul Nunez who are prosecuting Stephanie Lazarus in Dept 104 do this.

Some people that look like the general public enter and sit on the plastic chairs. An older nicely dressed woman and a young man.

Another attorney enters the well and sits by an attorney that is already there. I’m sitting by the door, Marjorie is down at the far end of the room. These two locations are the only locations in the courtroom along the back wall where there is an electrical outlet to power our computers.

I like to sit in the plastic chairs by the entry door. For me, they are slightly less damaging than the wood benches on my low back and I feel like I’m closer to the witness and counsel, although in realty, the two different positions are about the same distance from the witness box.

Judge Kennedy left the bench and the clerk is going over some papers binders/files with an attorney I’ve never seen before.

The woman who came in with the young man gets up to speak to a deputy.

I now see the sign over the little phone on the desk.

PHONE OFFICIAL DEPT 109 BUSINESS ONLY. There is a smaller text note below it but I can’t read it from where I’m sitting.

I also notice some signs attached to the glass on the bailiff’s desk.

Lori: We’re missing juror #9.

So, that’s what holding us up.

I squint to read the rest of the sings attached to the bailiff’s clear glass window. ”All parties check with bailiff.” “Undercover police show badge.”

“PLEASE Silence. All cell phones pagers, etc, prior to entering.”

“Law enforcement, Court staff, seating only these two rows.”

A man sitting next to me asks about why I’m writing so much since court is not really in session. It’s a good bet he’s an attorney. I explain that I have a blog, and that I often describe what’s going on in the gallery.

VERY frustrating I can’t get the WiFi. It’s really bumming me out.

Lori speaks to Juror #9 on the phone, wondering where they are. All the jurors are here now. And Shawn... on his way.

Another matter is going to be heard first I think.

A woman from (I believe) the public defender’s office that I’ve seen before, and who represented defendants in earlier matters this morning, is sitting in the last bench row with the two other attorney type gentlemen sitting to my right. She’s a small bespeckled slender woman. She’s dressed in black slacks and a sweater. Her youthful facial features are in contrast to her grayish hair.

Our regular bailiff is not here, but he may be getting a defendant in custody. I haven’t seen him yet this morning.

An attorney in the well gets up to make a call on his smart phone.

The only difficulty with my position is I can’t see the overhead screen very well. The TV they have set up for the jurors by the jury box is farther away too.

An attorney leaves who was going over binder documents with Judge Kennedy’s clerk.

Jackson works on one of the DA’s laptops. Standing off to the side, Harmon chats wit the detective.

I finally see Shawn come into the courtroom from the holding area. He asks for someone. Where’s Mr. ???

The attorney beside me calls the attorney to stepped out to make a phone call into court. Phone call attorney goes in to the holding area to see his client.

Werksman is sitting by himself at the counsel table. It’s 9:42 am, and our jury is sitting in the hallway, waiting.

Shawn comes out again and goes back into the back area towards the Judge’s chambers.

Shawn comes back out again, then goes over and enters the jury room.

We finally have the missing female prosecutor I think. Phone call attorney is still with his client.

Judge Kennedy wants our jurors to enter the jury room. Shawn tells the counsel. Shawn goes out and announces to the jury. We’re going to have you go back into our jury room, just so you don’t have to wait out in the hall.

The jury files in and counsel stand when they file by and enter the jury room.

9:48 am. The morning is progressing along pretty slowly today.

Shawn exits jury room, then goes to check on a defendant and his attorney.

An Orange jump suited defendant is brought out.

JK takes bench.

People vs DeSilva. June 9th set at 0-10. The defense attorney addresses Judge Kennedy. Problems visiting the defendant in jail. He’s housed in a specific block of the Men’s jail and they’ve (counsel) been there three times and haven’t been able to see him. Defense would like to put over until June 9th.

JK: And that’s it. So, we will see you on June 9th. On record with Fayed. Court did receive a note from juror #5, nine, And the juror wrote as follows:

“On Friday May 6th (just when) we were released for the afternoon ... juror #11, alternate #1 and alternate #4 discussing at length the actions of (witness) Rivera and the case. I decided to leave the court a message.”

JK:And that was the message. (snip) He said he felt to embarrassed to raise his hand in front of everyone and wrote this note instead. It’s Juror #5.

JK: It’s not signed.

JK: I believe at the moment all the jurors are in the jury room . (snip) It seems to me that I’m going to have to make some inquiries, concerning what juror #5 has written in his note. (snip) I would first have juror #5 come out first and ask, some questions of some other jurors.

The three male attorneys leave and the one who I was chatting with gives me a smile goodbye and says something like, nice to meet you, that I don’t fully hear.

Juror #5 is called into the courtroom and asked to sit in the jury box. Juror #5 is a tall black man. Judge Kennedy addresses him.

JK: I appreciate that you wrote this note to the court and you did the right thing to write this note to the Court. (snip) You have absolutely done the right ting. (snip) Couple of questions I’d like to ask you. (snip) Could you elaborate (on) what you heard.

J#5: Essentially (what I wrote) happened right after Edwin Riveria testified. (snip) (There were) comments in regard to his conduct and bravery. They talked about the photos we had seen and the graphic nature of the photos. (They?) didn’t know why the prosecution had brought all this into the trial at this point. (snip) (Also discussed) the actions that the defendant had (that) led to his actions at this point

JK: Was it all three of them?

J#5: It was all three of them talking. (snip) They had mostly put themselves off to themselves (away from others). (snip) It was the photos, the crime scene (that they were discussing).

JK: Do you know if any other jurors heard what they had (said too)? (snip) Did you know if anyone else heard?

J#5: I don’t know. (snip) I was sitting next to juror number six and he didn’t seem (to hear what they were discussing). (snip) It didn’t seem fair to me?

JK: You having heard those comments, would that influence your ability to deliberate and form your opinion?

J#5: No.

I think another question is asked and I believe he explains something to the effect that it wasn’t juror #6; but alternate number six sitting next to him.

JK: You don’t think there were other jurors within earshot?

J#5: As far as I could tell, there weren’t other jurors within earshot.

Judge Kennedy thanks the juror and orders him not to discuss what we discussed here today. She asks him to send out alternate #6.

Bad news if the jury is tainted.

Alternate #6, a man comes out.

Judge Kennedy asks whether on Friday, May 6th, by any chance he heard anyone talking about the evidence that had been presented in this case.

A#6: No I haven’t.

Judge Kennedy gives the alternate the admonishment not to talk to other jurors about the case until the case is presented as well as what they’ve talked about. She asks him to send out juror #11.

Hopefully we will only lose jurors and not the entire case.

JK: Good morning. I want you to be very frank with the court. I’m gong to ask you questions and (you need to be?) frank with the court. I want to know if you have discussed the case with any other jurors or any other alternates.

I believe the juror answers no.

JK: So you have not discussed this case at all?

Judge Kennedy goes into detail further about what the juror might have done.

J#11: No.

The judge gives this juror the same admonition not to talk about the case and not to discuss what they’ve discussed.

JK: I’m going to ask you to please not to discuss what I have revealed with you. (snip) Please sen out alternate number one.

Alternate #1 is a woman.

JK: Alternate #1, I’d like you to be completely frank with me on this issue. It’s very important. Have you participated in any discussion with any other jurors or alternates in the course of this trial?

I believe she answers no.

JK: After Mr. Rivera testified , you didnt have any discussion about Mr. Rivera and this testimony?

A#1: No. I did not.

Alternate #4.

JK: Please don’t discuss with the other jurors what we have talked about.

Judge Kennedy asks her to send out Alternate #4.

Woman, white hair. Alt #4

JK: I’d like you to be very honest with the court and ask you if you engaged in any discussion with any other juror or alternates?

A#4: No mam

JK: You never discussed the testimony of Mr. Riveria, or any other testimony in this case?

I believe she answers no. The juror is excused and Judge Kennedy addresses counsel.

JK: Well, um, at this point I’ve spoken to all jurors who were implicated in the note. (snip) Juror number five said what they said and (they) say what they say.

(?) Our request to re admonish them.

Jackson and Harmon confer.

MW: The fairness of these proceedings have been compromised. (snip) Either furor #5 made up something, or the three jurors the court questioned are complete total liars and looked the court in the face and lied. (snip) In my opinion we have horrible situation here. (snip) In my mind, juror #5 is the most credible. (snip) Explains his actions. I would place my money on #5 being the one telling the truth.

MW: It appears that at least three of those jurors have formed an opinion, it’s negative about my client. Their commenting on the prosecutions style which they are critical of, I’m asking that these jurors be excused. (snip) I don’t think we can just move on and have three jurors stay on the panel.

JK: I’m in a tough spot in this instance. It’s really difficult for me to know who’s telling the truth and who’s lying here. (snip) Um, I mean juror #6 who was with juror #5 didnt’ hear conversation(s) about the case. (snip) Which lends support to those individual. (snip) Juror #5’s accout was pretty specific about the details and opinions so for the opinions that were stated.

EH: I understand Mr. Werksman point of view that someone is a liar. (snip) Juror #5 was in a conversation with #6 when he said he heard what he heard. (snip) It’s not entirely clear that he was listening to what they were saying. (snip) They were critical of the prosecution showing photos... (Harmon goes onto state that he looked over the photos presented during Rivera’s testimony and there was only one photo that was shocking.)

JK: The standard of removing a juror, there must be a demonstrative showing that the juror is unable to perform their duty as a juror .... (more) and, um, to me, at this point, that demonstrateable (really) has not been established. (snip) I’m (of the mind?) if the parties agree, that stipulated they want a juror excused I’m fine with that, in the absence of the stipulation I don’t thing the demonstratable (?) (has) taken place. (snip) If this conversation took place, it was both critical of the persecution and the defense.

JK: And I will reiterate the admonition. (snip) At this point I don’t see the need to inquire of the remaining jurors. I don’t know that any of the jurors were able to hear the conversation.

(?MW/AJ?) I’d like to state my objection to the courts decision to no further inquiry the jurors, and to not find that there had been a further inquiry.

(?MW) There is a difference between commenting on the prosecutions style, verses believing the defendant is guilty of murder.

AJ: (What) the court might want to consider is to fully flesh out the record, Is to ask each of the rest of the jurors, and to ask if they’ve formed or expressed and opinion, that may be one step further for curative purposes.

JK: I think I will go ahead and do that. (snip) Let’s bring out Juror #1.

JK: Juror #1. there are some questions I would like to ask you. (The court is asking) if you have discussed yourself or have heard any other jurors discussing the evidence or opinions in this trial to this point?

Although I took notes on everything Judge Kennedy asked each juror and alternate, I will not bore you with the same thing over and over again. She went through the jurors by number and asked pretty much the same thing.

Juror’s #2 through #9 are questioned and all say they have not discussed the case or heard others discussing the case.

(I have it in my notes after the questioning of juror #9, the following... so maybe Harmon did not mention it when I thought he did, but mentioned this inbetween the questioning of #9 and #10.)

(EH: We only showed one photo to Rivera that was graphic; all the others I think his characterization of the prosecutions presentation is inaccurate.)

Jurors 9, 10, and 12 are interviewed.

JK: Please send out #12.

J#12: Um, No i haven’t. The only thing I can think of, one day someone said that was intense. Just reflecting on the testimony...

JK: Do you remember who it was?

J#12: It was a group of us. I think it was about four...

JK: It wasn’t whether you believed or disbelieved?

J#12: It went fast.

JK: It wasn’t about whether someone was guilty or innocent, or whether you believed or not believed the witness?

J#12: No, no nothing like that.

Then the rest of the alternate’s are sent out one by one and questioned.

Alternate #2.
No I did not.
Other jurors?
Send out Alternate #3.
It’s 10:33 am.

(Werksman thought #5 was credible.)

Alternate #3 comes out and is asked if she was discussing the case.

A3#: No.

Judge Kennedy asks her if she overheard anyone else (talking about the case).

The alternate makes a noticeable pause before answering.

A#3: Yes.

JK: What have you heard?

A#3: They did not actually say not guilty or guilty but it was clear that they had an opinion. (The person said.)

“Once I make up my mind I dont’ change.”

JK: Who was that?

A#3: I’m not positive of the number. It is a regular juror. (snip) That person sits in the back row. Female.

JK: Can you describe what that juror looks like?

A#3: Glasses and dark hair. (snip) Real short hair.

JK: You heard her say, she makes her mind up she doesn’t change it?

A#3: Yes.

JK: And you feel she’s made up her mind?

A#3: No; I think she has made up her mind that the defendant is guilty.

JK: (Another question.)

A#3: She was talking to two of us, and we were both alternates. Alternate #1 and we .... (miss the rest of the answer).

JK: Did you join in and express an opinion?

A#3: NO! Neither one of us did. (snip) Both of us seemed kind of alarmed.

JK: Are you prepared to continue in your role as an alternate? (There’s more and the alternate indicates she can continue.)

K: Send out alternate #5.

Same questions, same answers as the majority of jurors.

JK: It seems to me in light of alternate #3, that kind of dovetails into what juror #5 indicated and my feeling would be we should remove juror #11.

The proseution and defense agree. Werksman wants to remove the other alternate.

MW: Alternate #3 said juror #1 heard it and was alarmed by it. (snip) I think we can conculde that juror #5 was credible.

Judge Kennedy is not sure if #5 didn’t have one of the jurors mixed up.

JK: Might #5 have been meaing alternate #3 when he said alternate #4. (snip) I’m not convinced alternate #4 lied to the court.

MW: Well I’ve made my request your honor. (snip) Will the court excuse Alternate #1. We’ve heard ...

EH: I have no objection to alternate #1 being brought out again (and questioned about what they overheard).

But Harmon goes into the specifics of what Judge Kennedy asked, and Harmon points out that #3 said that alternate #1 HEARD, but did not participate and Harmon points out that Alternate #1 was ASKED if they participated in any conversation...

Kennedy asks that the record be read back to verify what was asked of alternate #1.

Court reporter reads court testimony back. In the read back, she’s never asked if she overheard others. Just asked if she participated.

JK: Bring out alternate #1 again and I will specifically ask...

(?EH:) Great.

Alternate #1 back in the courtroom.

JK: Have you heard any other jurors or alternates make any other comments about the evidence, or make any comments about they forming an opinion?

A#1: No, I have not.

She’s excused back to the jury room.

MW: Renewing request to remove alt #1

EH: People will submit.

So they bring out alternate #1 and Juror #11 into the courtroom.

JK: I want to thank you for your jury service, you are excused and need to return to the juror waiting room on the 5th floor.

Judge Kennedy uses the blue dodger baseball cap to pick the new juror #11. Judge Kennedy hold the hat over her head and picks an alternate number out of the hat.

When deciding what she will use to pick the alternate number, Judge Kennedy says something to the effect that we need a bit of levity in this courtrom.

Jurors enter courtroom and jury box. Counsel stand. Fayed still wearing the brown suit. Judge Kennedy instructs them not to speculate as to why they (the excused jurors) are no longer on the case. Now prepared to continue with the presnetaon of evidence.

The court clerk swears in Alternate #4. s

Lori: Stand and raise your right hand.

The people call their next witness...

This day will continue with Part II as soon as I get that day's notes edited. I also used my laptop for Day 6 and Day 7. If I get my home responsibilities finished today, I hope to have everything else up by late tonight. Tomorrow, May 16th will be closing arguments. Sprocket.