Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bobby Cutts Murder Trial: Jury reaches a verdict on one count!

According to
Jurors late tonight asked a series of questions and in one they indicated they had reached a verdict on the first count of aggravated murder relating to the death of Jessie Marie Davis. The jury also asked if there was a lesser offense to consider on a charge of aggravated burglary.
Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. referred them to their instructions. They also asked about a list of contents of Davis' purse and to listen to a tape statement from a witness.
This is the only news source that I could find that is reporting this evening the jury asked questions and reached a verdict on one count. All other sources I've checked are reporting no verdicts were reached. I do hope it's true and this means the jury is moving forward.

Update: 10:07 pm
I just don't know what to believe anymore. I can't find any source that is verifying this latest development. According to the blog, nothing happened today, and Patty Davis may not come back to court tomorrow to wait.

Update: February 14th, 6:40 am
The has changed their story last night to read:
Jurors in the Bobby Cutts Jr. trial indicated in a question Wednesday night to the judge that they might have reached a verdict on an aggravated murder charge.
Jurors late Wednesday asked a series of questions, and in one they insinuated they had reached a verdict on the first count of aggravated murder relating to the death of Jessie Marie Davis.
Update: February 14th, 7:40 am is reporting:
Jurors also asked Judge Brown if they had a verdict on Count 1 (Aggravated Murder of Jessie Davis), and then a juror had to be excused tomorrow, would they have to start deliberations again. The Judge told them that no juror may be replaced during deliberations.
This is so confusing. What do you have alternates for? Donchais and I are totally puzzled over this latest development. Donchais was wondering, could it be that one of the jurors has come up with a ridiculous reason to be removed from serving verses a legitimate one? Or, could it be that a juror has had a change of heart on whether or not they can reach a verdict that could result in Cutts receiving the death penalty? Regardless, with the information we are getting, we don't have a clue as to what the Ohio guidelines are for when a juror can or cannot be dismissed during deliberations, or what Judge Brown meant by his answer.

From the trials that we've covered we can easily see how jurors get confused. We would be. Jury instructions are written by lawyers with all the legal speak they commonly use. Even Alan Jackson in his closing argument in the Spector trial, talked about how confusing jury instructions can be. In 2007, the entire California CALCRIM was rewritten to try to make them more understandable by the lay public. I don't know if they were that successful or not. However, where I think the Spector trial got stuck were the "additional" instructions that the defense requested, which I believe was a tactical move on their part. It's hard to ignore the fact that Riordan was one of the attorneys involved in rewriting CALCRIM.

Where donchais and I are currently in the dark is because we could not hear the majority of the jury instructions that were read in this trial. Apparently, the volume was turned down quite low on the sound system. Perhaps Judge Brown throwing that kitchen sink into the instructions is what has the jury confused.

Update: February 14th, 8:00 am
For a complete list of the jury questions submitted to the Judge, check the

We just realized one of the things we don't know is, what type of time frame all parties were given to get to court once all the verdicts have been reached. Is that something we just missed? Does anyone know?


In Session Beth Karas report. Beth also noticed like we did, the unusual configuration of the courtroom and where the jury box is situated. Beth has been in quite a few courtrooms over the years and she said she's never seen a courtroom like this before.