Kelly Soo Park in custody, 2010
UPDATED 6:00 PM below
I'm inside Dept. 109. Patricia and Greg Redding just arrived inside the courtroom. Right behind the Reddings, Park and her husband, Tom Chronister entered and greeted two gentlemen I've never seen before. Juliana's family is fully represented in the first seating row.
I will be inside the courtroom all day today on verdict watch. Inside the jury room is a buzzer that the jurors can push when they start deliberations, need to ask a question and reach a verdict. In prior cases I've covered, one buzz means they are starting or stopping deliberations. Two buzzes mean they have a question for the court. Three buzzes mean a verdict has been reached.
In my coverage of this case, I tried a new posting format where the most recent entry was posted at the top of the blog. A few of my regular readers have expressed this new format is confusing, so for verdict watch, I will be reverting to posting in chronological order. To see the most recent time stamped entry, you will need to scroll down the page.
A few moments ago, the bailiff addressed Park and told her that she needed to keep him updated as to her whereabouts in the building.
DDA Okun-Wiese is in the courtroom along with the DA's clerk and Detective Thompson. Hugs were exchanged between Juliana's family and the prosecution team.
Jurors file in and head to the jury room. When they are all gathered, we should hear a single "buzz" that they started their deliberations. I will update everyone if/when I hear that buzz.
Park is sitting in the back row with her husband and several supporters. I'm sitting next to a pretty ABC reporter near the door.
The bailiff notifies the court clerk that our jurors are all here, so a 9:04 start time. More of Park's supporters are here. Hugs and kisses are exchanged.
I forgot to mention that a young man with a bicycle helmet and back pack entered the courtroom and is sitting in the back row. The bailiff asked him what he was here for.
Park and several of her supporters are reading magazines, newspapers. The camera is set up in a corner of the courtroom. Another one of Juliana's beautiful friends enters and exchanges hugs, greetings with Patricia Redding.
I went out to the elevator bay to pick up a bottle of water at the vending machines. I'm back inside Dept. 109.
An attorney comes in and checks in with the court clerk. He's probably filing a motion. The bailiff is on the phone. There are a few conversations going on at once, but nothing I can overhear. It's all at a low whisper. Patricia Redding reenters the courtroom with another girlfriend of her daughter's.
Answering a question. IF Park is convicted, it is my understanding she would immediately be taken into custody. The filing of an appeal takes time to wind it's way through the appellate court. Appeals are not handled by Judge Kennedy. The appeal would have to have compelling evidence included in it, for the defendant to be granted bail on appeal. That's not to say it can't happen. I've just never heard of it happening for a murder conviction.
There are photos of Dr. Uwaydah on the web. Here is a Google® image search I just did.
Answering a question about Dr. Uwaydah. I do not know if Uwaydah had any role in the death of Juliana. I recommend reading the prosecution's moving papers, Motion to Admit Other Conduct (1101b evidence) of Park's prior uncharged acts. Understand that motion failed. Judge Kennedy ruled the people could not present that evidence to the jury.
Tom Chronister kisses his wife as he gets up from his seat and exits the courtroom.
BUZZ! BUZZ! The bailiff goes to inquire.
The bailiff exits the jury room and goes back to Judge Kennedy's chambers.
I see the bailiff showing a paper to the court reporter, and then heading back to the jury room.
Tom Chronister reenters the courtroom.
The bailiff exits the jury room with a paper in his hand and goes back to Judge Kennedy's chambers.
People come and go from the gallery. Jury watch is just that. It's waiting for something to happen. If you ever decide to wait for a verdict to be reached, I recommend bringing a book. Luz from NBC arrives.
I hear part of a phone conversation the clerk is having with I think counsel. Another phone call to one of the counsel. "The jury has a question." So I think counsel will coming down momentarily.
Park asked the bailiff if she could go down to the restroom. I'm out in the hallway to check in with my friend Matthew.
Park was served with papers when she came back from the restroom. I overheard that it was a search warrant, but that might not have been correct. No one stopped her and searched her after the papers were served.
I'm back inside the courtroom. Park is reading through the papers she was served with. DDA Okun-Wiese arrives with one of her clerks.
Answering a question. Part does not appear to be crying or is upset. She looked over the papers and now her husband looks over the papers. Chronister is by her side, supporting her. I have no idea what the serving could be about. It could be many things.
We continue to wait. Okun-Wiese and the bailiff are at the clerk's desk having a conversation. Okun-Wiese goes into the gallery to speak to Patricia and Greg Redding.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words about my trial reporting efforts. From the court reporter, I obtained the correct spelling of the last name of the first defense witness. I've corrected it on that day's testimony.
Defense attorney Mark Kassabian arrives. Counsel asks the deputy if Park and he can step inside the foyer to speak privately.
I do not have any idea what the papers were that Park was served with. It could be many things. I never try to predict a jury as to when they will reach a verdict or what that verdict will be. Juries can surprise you.
George Buehler enters. Bailiff tellis everyone to turn cell phones off. Judge Kennedy comes out and says, "Can I talk to counsel?" Question about items on the record. More reporters show up. Judge is still at sidebar.
That's it. Counsel leave the courtroom and Judge Kennedy goes back in chambers. Whatever was the juror's question, was resolved at sidebar.
The courtroom is quiet, with the normal whispers, phone browsing and magazine reading.
BUZZ! BUZZ! The bailiff investigates.
The jurors are taking a break.
Deliberations so far have been from 9:04 AM to 10:47 AM
A few jurors exit the courtroom. Now, three more jurors exit. So, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes for deliberation so far.
Park's bail bondsman arrives. Kelly greets him with a hug.
Answering a question. Like I said before, I never try to predict what a jury will do. I do not give an opinion as to what the evidence proves. That's the jury's job.
Thank you for the comment that I make jury watching exciting. I can assure you, that sitting in the courtroom is not that exciting. It's actually tiring.
Greg Fisher, CBS 48 Hours producer enters and takes the now empty seat to my left. I first met Greg when I covered the James Fayed case. He's a nice guy.
A handsome, bespeckled bald bailiff shows up to chat with Judge Kennedy's regular bailiff.
Answering a comment. I will tell Greg when he comes back inside the courtroom.
I don't know what time the jury restarted deliberations. The visiting deputy leaves Dept. 109.
Judge Kennedy comes out from the back area to look over something at the clerk's desk area. Judge Kennedy is wearing a sleeveless gray dress and a long, several-stranded, silver necklace. I can see her necklace sparkles when reflecting off the overhead lights.
Judge Kennedy leaves the well area of the court, going back into the office/staff areas.
All of Juliana's supporters are wearing pink ribbons today.
Greg Fisher's latest story on the Park case is now up on CBS Crimesider Blog. Here is LA Times's writer, Jack Leonard's report on closing arguments yesterday.
I'm very tired and trying to stay awake. The courtroom is a bit cold. I'll need a strong tea at lunch to get me through the afternoon.
Tom Chronister and Park's bail bondsman reenter Dept. 109. Ah. the bondsman, Josh Herman quickly leaves again.
Mark Kassabian steps in for a moment to ask the clerk a question, then quickly leaves.
The bailiff tells the gallery they may want to get a head start on exiting the courtroom for lunch. He tells the room he can guarantee that nothing will happen in the next five minutes. I start to pack up.
The bailiff asks us to exit the courtroom.
I'm trying to wolf down a quick lunch, salad bar, in the cafeteria. I usually bring my lunch but the beef stew Mr. Sprocket cooked overnight in the slow cooker wasn't cool enough to put in a plastic container. Katie! Miss having you here to cover this trial. Any thoughts on a case to attend when this one is over?
Ice cream? Not for my blood type. :D
Answering a comment. My goal is to report as neutrally as possible. It's up to the jury to decide the significance of each piece of evidence.
Again, thank you everyone for your comments. It is a great personal reward to me, to hear that my trial reporting efforts have been helpful to the friends and families of all parties involved.
Up on the 9th floor, chatting with LA Times writer Jack Leonard and CBS producer Greg Fisher. The hallway is full of jurors for the various courtrooms. I see a group of Juliana's supporters. I think Park's supporters are farther down the hallway near Dept 103. I can just make out the bail bondsman down there. He's a very tall man.
The courtroom is opened and the jurors file in.
Inside the courtroom and almost set up when I hear, BUZZ! The jurors started deliberating. The courtroom is packed with media, family and their supporters waiting for a verdict.
Someone's phone rings in the gallery. The bailiff gives a look. "Sorry!"
Detective Thompson enters the courtroo and speaks to a woman in the gallery sitting with the Redding family. She then goes over to speak to the bailiff.
The long benches on the right side of the courtroom are filled. There are few spaces left in the back row. People have started sitting on the left side, in he two bench rows behind the bailiff's desk. Patricia Redding enters Dept. 109 and squeezes in next to her husband.
Today's Daily News story about the case. There is no byline and I haven't read it completely to see how accurate it is. Correction. The source is City News Service, so that would Terri Keith. She's amazing.
Okun-Wiese enters Dept. 109. As she passes the media, she smiles that nice smile she has and says, "No, I didn't get called." I knew that already because I would have heard a jury buzz request or the court clerk on the phone, making the calls.
Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson have been chatting away with the bailiff.
There is a little bit more chatter in the gallery a the moment. Two of the DA's clerks are in the front row, chatting with the Redding family.
People are reading magazines. Park is reading issue of National Geographic. Greg Redding has his left hand on his wife's upper back, gently tapping his fingers. Several people are glued to their smart phones.
Question for everyone. Was the explanation of what, "1 in 1-trillion" means, in the people's closing arguments understandable? Did those of you not familiar with DNA get the significance of that high number?
Answering a comment. That's the right answer about the DNA evidence. The profile is so unique, that's how many people it would take to test to find the exact same profile, randomly.
Second commenter, read the comment above yours for a good explanation.
Answering a comment. I did not see the full voir dire. Only a small portion of it. I'm sorry, but I am in no position to evaluate the analytical skills of the jurors.
Judge Kennedy comes out to chat with her clerk and court reporter. I hear her ask her clerk, "Do we have anything on calendar tomorrow?"
Regarding DNA transfer. I don't believe the analyst's testified "how" the DNA got on the Juliana's neck or the apartment. That's my memory. They testified that DNA gets on items via direct transfer, and secondary transfer.
More camera equipment arrives. It looks like a big control board panel and an extended microphone. Microphones are being placed at the Judge's desk. Judge Kennedy is still chatting with her staff. I remember she came out and chatted with her staff during the James Fayed verdict watch. There are several conversations going on at once now.
Buzz! Buzz! The bailiff investigates!
The jury is requesting read back of testimony. The defense counsel will need to get here.
Answering a question regarding DNA transfer. How would person X, transfer Park's DNA without also transferring their own DNA?
I believe the jury is six men, six women. I will have to do a recount. I wouldn't even try to guess the ethnic background on each one.
Jane Robison from the DA's office is here. We are waiting for defense counsel to arrive.
We don't know yet what testimony the jurors want read back.
The jurors did not buzz that they took an afternoon break, so I would guess they are still deliberating.
My typing skills, in reality, are not that great. I'm "maybe" 45 words a minute with a ton of errors.
Kassabian and Buehler arrive. It looks like they are going over the note the jurors sent out.
Park and Kassabian go into the ante chamber to talk privately.
Case is not charged in this case. Cell tower records put Case within a mile of the crime scene. They do not put him "in" the crime scene.
FYI: When court starts, I will not be publishing until the read back is finished.
A computer makes a sound on start up. The bailiff tells the gallery he will take a computer away. Then immediately tells the gallery "That was a joke." A bit of laughter goes through the gallery.
I don't know what is taking so long. My best guess is, the court reporter is figuring out which parts the jury wants read back. That's just a guess. I don't know that for certain. Then both sides and possibly Judge Kennedy will all agree on what specifically should be read back.
Ronnie Case. There was no evidence presented to the jury about Ronnie Case. Ronnie Case is not on trial, or has been charged. We know about Ronnie Case's phone tower pings from the charging document & statement of probable cause.
The allegations of prior bad acts (1101b evidence) by Park did not come into this trial. It was ruled inadmissible by Judge Kennedy. The jury did not hear any evidence of Park and Case threatening other business associates of Dr. Uwaydah.
The goal of my reporting is to be like a camera. A camera gives an image of what happens. The camera doesn't comment on the image, or evaluate it. That's the goal of my reporting.
I'm wondering if, the read back has happened already inside the jury room. I may be wrong, but it was my understanding that defense counsel wanted readbacks in open court. I will try to find out.
The court reporter hands a transcript to counsel. They are going over it now.
Judge Kennedy asks her bailiff if all the alternates are around. He tells her they are out in the hallway. Now that I think about it, they would have had to have brought the alternates into the jury room for a read back there. So, it hasn't happened yet.
The bailiff informs us the jurors are going to go home in five minutes. There will not be a read back today. That will happen tomorrow morning after 9:00 AM.
People pack up to leave. Park kisses many people goodbye. Judge Kennedy orders Park back at 9:00 AM "Yes!" Park replies.
Jurors start to file out of the jury room.
I asked the bailiff if we have a the number of the jury foreman yet. He replied, "Nope."
I'm heading home. I was waiting to see if I could find out what the read back is about. Terri Keith and I asked Jane Robison. She said she's not sure if she can say.
I will answer a few questions before I need to get all my chores done this evening. Before I do that, I have a notice. I am asking that people be respectful in their comments. Like T&T's comment policy states, T&T is not obligated to publish your comment. I will start rejecting comments where, I feel, (my blog, my decision) people are not being respectful of each other and their opinions.
I will address the commenter who was not happy that the jury was sent home.
Ending the court day today.
You have to understand that, this is not a courthouse that is able to remain open past 4:30 PM. Many courtrooms end their day at 4:00 PM. Judge Kennedy's courtroom ends at 4:15 PM. This courthouse is 19 floors with many courtrooms on each floor. There are about 14-15 floors that are open to the public. It's not an option for the jurors to stay late in this courthouse. At night, there is a skeleton crew of LA County Sheriff's deputies.
To keep a courtroom open for jurors to deliberate would mean, the court staff would have to stay. More deputies would have to stay (overtime! Ka-ching! State of California is broke; it's not in the budget), and you would have all the public that wanted to stay for a potential verdict. It's just not possible.
The only time a courtroom is kept open late is if/when a verdict is reached. They always take the reading of a verdict the day it was reached, even if it was reached at 4:15 PM. They never hold the reading of the verdict over to a second day.
Number of the jury foreman.
When the jurors first get back into the jury room, their instructions are, to select a jury foreman/foreperson. We don't know yet, which juror, (their #) was elected foreperson.
In criminal cases, the verdict needs to be unanimous. All 12 jurors must vote the same way.
If there are any more questions, I will answer them later this evening. Otherwise, I'll see everyone tomorrow at 9:00 AM PT.