Tuesday, May 17, 2011

James Fayed Verdict Watch Day 1

I will be periodically updating this page throughout the day, live from inside the courtroom. Sprocket.

Well, we are on verdict watch in the Fayed case. The jurors entered the jury room at about 10:30 am. Jackson and Harmon talks to the family. The bailiff instructs the jurors on how to use the buzzer system in the jury room.

Here is what we will be waiting for.
3 buzzes = verdict
2 buzzes = question
1 buzz means all present.

11:03 am: Sean takes the evidence books into the jury room. Lori holds the door for him and enters also. She comes right back out.

11:05 am: The bailiff came out and verbally asked Lori about getting something to play the CD. The jurors told him they want to listen to the CD.

11:14 am: There is a question about an umbrella that was left in the hallway and that it might belong to one of the jurors (between Sean the bailiff and Lori, the court clerk). Marjorie from the Ventura Co. Star tells them she believes that belongs to one of the cameramen; they were looking for it. Lori and the bailiff say, "Oh, okay."

It's just me, Marjorie, Sean, and the bailiff. The cameramen have all left and so did the rest of the reporters. It's eerily silent. I can hear Lori when she types on her computer, and you can hear in the background off in the building somewhere when doors close.

11:18 am: The DA's clerk brings a computer. She explains about it to Lori and Sean and shows them that there is nothing on the computer. Sean opens up the computer and takes it back to the jury room.

11:20 am: The DA's clerk leaves right afterwards.

11:21 am: Sean is still in the jury room setting up the computer.

11:22 am: I get up to stretch my legs a moment.

11:23 am: Sean comes back out of the jury room.

11:24 am: I'm ecstatic! The camera guys brought a power strip so I can sit down by where Marjorie is sitting, put my feet up on the third row bench and stretch out. I'm a little slow in getting my updated "published" because I did not bring an external mouse. I'm clumsily trying to train myself to use the built in mouse-pad, but I am behind the times. So it takes me a few seconds to use it to get my pointer where I need it to be to hit publish and then get back into blogger. Please be patient with me.

11:30 am: A few minutes ago, one of the court reporters comes out to speak to Lori, then she heads back into the back rooms where I'm sure there are desks and work stations. Sean goes back into the holding cell area. Lori is asking the reporter now if she's seen the 13th's transcript. Now I can't hear what they are chatting about.

11:32 am: Sean comes back out from the holding cell area. The camera crew left their camera in place, but one of them placed their yellow slicker jacket over the camera. From where I am it blocks a good portion of my view of Lori's desk.

11:39 am: Sean is in and out of the holding cell area. He's back at his desk. Lori is typing away. This is the long drawn out waiting. This verdict watch is different that Spector or Brown. During those two cases, there were several other people who came down to wait with me.

If you're reading and have a question about the case, you can send me an email or leave a comment on this entry. I will do my best to answer any questions.

11:48 am: The courtroom is especially cold today. I should have worn a coat instead of my light sweater.

11:52 am: For those of you following the Casey Anthony case in Florida, there are 12 potential jurors on the panel. Judge Perry in that case will be seating 12 jurors and 8 alternates. So that case is not close to starting opening statements yet.

11:53 am: Strike that. The Anthony case may be back to 11 jurors in the pool.

11:57 am: A court employee comes out from the back rooms and asks Lori something. I missed the beginning of the conversation so I'm not following it. It's something about wording and documents. The woman I've not seen before asks about the case. Lori tells her "They're deliberating." "Oh really" she replies.

11:58 am: Sean tells us he is going to close the courtroom down in three minutes. Marjorie and I start to pack up. I'll probably update down in the cafeteria what time the first juror comes out of the jury room for lunch.

11:59 am: This is the time on my computer that I have where the first juror exited the courtroom. They did not use the buzzer to indicate that they have stopped like the Spector jury did.

12:23 pm: I'm in the cafeteria having lunch.

1:23 pm: I'm in the hallway outside 109...waiting for the door to be unlocked. Standing, holding onto my computer typing one fingered.

1:25 pm: Lots of chatter here. Just waiting.

1:31 pm: I'm back inside in my new spot. Just saw three more jurors enter the jury room. Have not heard a buzz that all are here. Judge Kennedy enters and she's wearing lback top black pants and a beautifl black and white short check jacket.

1:33 pm: Unless I see another juror...which I haven't I'll put the clock starting at 1:31 pm.

1:54 pm: We hear the building security command center come over a speaker and speak with the bailiff.

2:00 pm: Lori asks the bailiff what time the jurors are all here. Sean states "1:45 pm." So, I'm betting that's our official start time for this afternoon.

2:08 pm: The three cameramen are at the other end of the courtroom chatting. Marjorie left to get something to eat. I think she worked through the scheduled lunch time to meet a story deadline. I can hear snatches of the conversation with the cameramen, but not what they are talking about. The clock on the back wall of Judge Kennedy's court makes an audible tick sound each time a minute goes by. I'm taking this time to slowly go through today's rough draft notes and clean up my less than stellar typing skills. If something interesting happens in 109, I'll post it.

2:18 pm: We just got two buzzes from the jury. Sean just went into the jury room.

2:21 pm: Sean comes out and says to Lori, can you let the DA know the computer isn't working?

2:24 pm: Lori is on the phone. It's Lori, they couldn't get the laptop to play. Which CD are they trying to play? Did htey leave it in there? Oh, no, no, no! Sean left it in there for demonstration purposes. Do you want to come down and see if you can get it to work?

2:28 pm: The DA's clerk arrives to try to get the laptop to play the CD. The bailiff is right beside her, watching what she is doing.

2:34 pm: Eric Harmon enters and asks his clerk, "Is it working?" "No, she replies."

From what I'm overhearing, they want to watch a video file, not an audio file. Harmon and the clerk are trying to see if there is a way to play the CD that's in there on the laptop. Harmon says, "So we need a video player."

Maybe the laptop doesn't have the programs needed to play the evidence? Harmon and the clerk continue to work on the laptop, I think they are looking for program to play the video.

I ask Lori if they know which evidence the jury is trying to play or view. She says, "No. I wouldn't ask them that."

Harmon goes over to the large computer screen to see if he can play the CD. He puts it in but I don't think it works. He's back at the table with the laptop and the CD.

Harmon says he is going to try to get a new machine down here that's wiped clean. Sean takes the evidence back inside the jury room.

2:59 pm: I get a news alert that DA Steve Cooley has announced he will not run for a 4th term and that he endorses second-in-command DDA Jacquelun Lacey.

3:01 pm: Judge Kennedy came out from her chambers and asked something of Lori. I hear her say Mr. Werksman. Judge Kennedy goes back in her chambers and Lori is on the phone with someone. I hear Lori say, Okay, so can you please call Mr. Meister?

Lori is on the phone with someone affiliated with the case. "Can you come on down, and look at this stuff?" I'm wondering if a note was sent out from the last time Sean was in the jury room?

I have no evidence of that but hopefully we'll see what happens in the next few minutes.

3:o8 pm: Harmon enters and says, "They're bringing down a computer. He then goes over to the clerks desk and is looking through some papers. Harmon is now on the phone with someone over at the clerks desk.

3:09 pm: Harmon asks to Lori, "Is Mark coming in? Lori says, "Yes." Now he's leaving Jackson a message or talking to him. "I'm looking at the information. I think it's best that you come down and look at it."

Harmon is talking to the bailiff in a soft voice, so I can't hear what he's saying. Harmon comes over to Marjorie and myself to ask how we are doing. He asks about the WiFi connection and if it's any good. I tell him I'm using it but Marjorie has her own card. I mention to him that it doesn't let you connect to Facebook or Twitter. No work would get done if it did

3:14 pm: The clerk brings down another computer. Sean is going to take it back to the jury room to see if it works.

A little political news. In light of DA Steve Cooley's announcement, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich endorsed Deputy DA Alan Jackson for District Attorney.

3:16 pm: Sean gets the CD and brings it back out and the clerk is showing the deputy how to show the jurors how to use it. Eric brought down speakers to pick up also.

3:19 pm: Mark Werksman arrived. Werksman says, "This was mailed to me and faxed to the court." Harmon says something. All I hear is "I totally agree, or I wholeheartedly agree." (snip) This is going to be all Alan's ...."

Harmon, "Do you have the envelope?"

The court reporter is getting set up.

3:23 pm: Alan Jackson arrives.

Werksman: Did you get my E-mail? Alan Jackson is going over the documents.

Werksman and Jackson are going over the documents and discussing them. Judge Kennedy comes out. She's behind her clerk; she's not on the bench. "I"ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop." She could have had a joking tone in her voice, I don't know. Jackson steps out of the courtroom. He's on the phone, calling someone.

Jessica the DATELINE producer goes over to speak briefly to the bailiff. I can see Jackson in the ante chamber, on the phone, pacing.

3:30 pm: I see Judge Kennedy has her robe on. She's behind her clerk's desk. She had a can of tea in her hand.

JK: On record. Defendant is here. Mr. Werksman faxed to the court some documents and could you explain what it is.

MW: I received a letter that came in a white envelope, (I didn't bring the envelope) but brought a copy of envelop addressed to me at my law office with name and address is typed.

Dear Mr. Werksman with name misspelled.

Werksman quickly reads what's in the letter. "Several jurors have received the attached information from the DA's office. A campaign mailer, from Alan Jackson promotion cmapand brochure with emvelope, dear, name blacked out. And that's waht i did recieved

Thought I would bring it to cts attention, made a copy to Jackson, and ask information and who it was sent to.


As a back drop, it's not a secred it's widely know that I am campagain for political office. No on count time or these office I am in a ciamgain.

what Mr. Werksman recievd is a campaign letter an envelope and a "walk piece" full color, that set of materials was in fact sent out. It was sent out in FEB. It hasn't been done again.

It hasn't been sent out in the weeks

Somebod i clearly as had ben the case someone or some fols are clearly thring lob some eggs in this proceedings. None of these sitting jurros, I don't know their names This was sent out by a campain. private mailed as you knwo these things are odone.
I can assure this court, thinothing that has been sent like thise since yesterd.

I would have thhought that in voir dire, one of the jurors would have raised their hand.

There nothig tosuggest that anyone in the panel has recievd thsi or has seen this or even knows about this materials. Which says a lot about my campgain.

The net rseutl would problem reveal to those that donlt know it would JK, know that Mr. Jackson is running for DA

Werksman. I dont want to highlihgt that mr J is running for Da, . He didn't even become counsel o nthis case unti after this mailer came out.

I would request if the court asks if they jurors have been influenced or ...without impacting the general nature of the information.

Asking if anyone has received any information, .... (more)

I don't have any problem iwth that AJ as long as the inquiry is vage. I think to pinpoint it any further ..

AJ: I would ask that the sheriff's department to do a formal investigation. This has got to be investigated. It's not that hard to find out what the IP was to sent the Email to worksman.
I thin the court needs to step i and thake some acton.

JK what i will do, is speak to my supervising juge and see what she thinks should be done. I've never had a case where there have been so man youtside influences. Iv'e bee non the bench almost 22 years and have never experience anythng like this. It cerainly makes you wonder to, who is doing this. And it seems to me, the someone who is doing this, I thought it tintially someone trying to cause troubel ein general. I think that it's somebody involved in this case, and trying to cause trouble with regard to this case.

I don't know if Mr. F family or investors, or Mr. J political enemies, I truly don't know.
AJ: I certainly wouldn't think so.

JK: I will talk to Judge (?) and get a recommendation from her as to what can be done.

I don't know what resources they have or even what they can really do.

AJ: Pretty spectacular. I've had experience, without going into too much detail, but I've had situation like this in my experience at the DA's office, not dissimilar to this and its raising red flags in my mind.

They (DA's' Sheriff's) have exceptional resources in their high tech crime units. One thing they would need, from Mr. Werksman to bring in the actual envelope used to mail this mailer. And I urge you not to have people handle this as little of possible.

I will refitev the original envelope

JK bring it in a ziplock baggie. (smiles.)

Werksman . People have handled it.

JK:I know it has, people have handled it opened it

MW: I'm also an officer of the court, I would invite the court to inquire of the jury. I want to do what's wright. I want a fair proceeding.

I'm going to make a general inquiry. I'm not going to alude what was in there. I don't need to mention about the campaign. But it's not going to come from within this courtroom.

So JK says, so now we do need the alternates in here.

JK: Your name is spelled differently on the envelope than on the inside correspondence.

MW: I didn't notice that.

3:56 pm: Two buzzes!

Sean goes into the jury room and comes back out. I don't know what if anything, he's said to the clerk what the jurors want now.

4:03 pm: Court now in session. Defend

JK: On record case. Ready for the jurors to come in the courtroom at this time.

Lori announces for alternates for 109 into the courtroom. Jurors come into the courtroom, alternates come in from the hallway

JK: On the record. Seems like whenever I have to talk to you folks its not a pleasant task o this part. Ask if any of your have received any correspondce from any of the attorneys or any of thier offices during the trial.
Everyone is answering no.

We've received another anony tip today, and won't go into the ...

She mentions to the jurors about her 22 years and never experiencing anything like this before
I want to ask you fold please be extremely vigilant . I appreciate all what you've done.

There is someone out there that is trying to cause troble in this case, and we don't know who this is. admonistion. so I'm going to let you folds go ahead and leave for the day, I'm going to let you go and, so , you go and so maybe you can be on time for each other. Smiles, laughter.

JK: I am going to have the Sheriff's Department open an investigaton and look into this (case/matter).

Werksman just got a notice from someone in his office that the envelope is being put into a manilla envelope and placed on his desk and he will bring it into the courtroom tomorrow.

AJ: Asking that the voice recording is still available, and Judge Kennedy doesn't have any problem with that. Jackson says he has a reason he wants to listen to it.

That's it and court is over.

Jury tampering is a serious offense. I'm wondering if attempted jury tampering is also a serious offense.


JellyBeanLowe said...

Thank you for your coverage of this case. You have made it possible for those of us close to this to stay up to speed and you have made it personable for us so, that we understand.

Jenifer said...

Betsy, that's amazing that someone is trying to sabotage either the case or DDA Jackson. I would love to know the results of the investigation, if you happen to hear them.