Monday, June 3, 2013

Kelly Soo Park Verdict Watch, Day 7

Kelly Soo Park, May 13th, at Opening Statements


7:00 AM
Jurors return today for their 7th day of deliberations. So far, I've calculated the jury has deliberated a total of 26 hours and 20 minutes.

In other news, Stephanie Lazarus's appeal for her first degree murder conviction may be in default. The case docket at the California Courts of Appeal indicates her court appointed attorney missed a filing deadline.

I'll update when I reach the 9th floor of the Clara Shortridge-Foltz Criminal Justice Center, in downtown Los Angeles.

Kelly Soo Park Quick Links
Kelly Soo Park Jury Clock
Kelly Soo Park Witness List

8:29 AM
I'm on the 9th floor.  The Redding family, Greg, Patricia and their son are sitting on the benches directly across from me.  Everyone is wearing a pink ribbon on their lapel. My eyes start to well up when I see a small silver heart over the ribbon Patricia Redding is wearing. I have no idea why that affected me so much. I'm sure my lack of sleep doesn't help.

8:30 AM
The bailiff unlocks the door to Dept. 109 and people start to file in.  The camera crew sets up their equipment.  The court clerk and court reporter are chatting at the clerks desk.  The bailiff is at his desk. The Redding family sits in the first seating row.

In Judge Kennedy's courtroom, there are four long bench rows on the right side of the gallery and two short bench rows on the left behind the bailiff's desk.  The first right side row is kept empty so jurors can easily enter the jury box. So seating is from the second row back.  The seats on the left are reserved for court personnel, officers, and counsel.

The well of the court is crowded.  There is a long continuous table for the defense and prosecution.  In the table center is the projection equipment for exhibits. The screen for the projection equipment is mounted on the wall above the clerk's desk. The court reporter's desk is directly in front of the witness box. There is very little room between the counsel table and the court reporter's desk. Up against the little wall that separates the gallery and the well, there are seats for additional counsel and staff.  It is this extra seating that makes the well a bit cramped for walking space.

8:44 AM
Park and Tom Chronister enter Dept. 109.  As I was walking north on Broadway from my parking lot, I saw Park and Chronister ahead of me.  Although I believe they park somewhere on Temple Street, I believe they walk through Grand Park to Broadway so they can enter the building from the rear.

8:48 AM
It's very quiet. The tapping of my keys on my laptop seem especially loud to me today, even though I have a keyboard protector that dulls the sound a bit.

A few jurors enter in groups of one and twos, heading back to the jury room.

8:53 AM
Park's mother Irene enters and greets Park and other family members.  DDA Okun-Wiese enters with her staff and greets the Redding family with hugs.  Detective Thompson is with them.  I believe Detective Thompson brought Patricia a rose that she just pinned to her lapel.

The alternate jurors enter and let the court clerk know they are here.  "Okay. Thank you," the clerk tells them. They exit the courtroom.

8:57 AM
The gallery has a flurry of conversation for a moment.  I believe the bailiff checks on the jury and quickly returns. He stops by the clerk's desk.  I believe the clerk is sharing with him some family photos.

9:00 AM
BUZZ!  The jurors are all present and deliberating.

9:15 AM
Several members of the media have arrived.  Lisa from 20/20 is back, along with Sue from 48 Hours.  Lonce from, a few more faces I know and a few I don't.

All of us are in the back row near the door.

There is an attorney at the defense table.  I'm guessing that the bench trial will resume shortly.

DDA Okun-Wiese, Detective Thompson and their clerks are sitting in the very first row.  The bailiff comes over to sit down and chat with Okun-Wiese.

9:18 AM
TYPO!!! I meant to write, "heart" instead of "heard".  I've made the correction.

9:20 AM
The prosecutor in the bench trial arrives.  A cameraman leaves the courtroom.  The defense investigator, Linda Larsen is sitting in the gallery, reading pages from a print out.  There's a bit of rustling of newspapers in the gallery.  Park reads a magazine. Chronister, along with many others in the gallery, is focused on his smart phone.

9:23 AM
The prosecution team leaves the courtroom.

9:24 AM
Bench trial.
The clerk asks if the bailiff is ready. (To bring the defendant out.)  The defense attorney asks to hold for a minute.   Judge Kennedy takes the bench.  I will step outside to publish. I won't be able to publish inside the courtroom while Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

9:27 AM
Bench trial.
Counsel and the judge are discussing having the defense call a medical doctor to testify about their client's mental health.

A bench trial is one where the defendant has chosen to have their case heard by a judge only, and not a jury.  The judge hears all the evidence and renders a verdict.

9:34 AM
People are patiently waiting.  Most are engrossed in their reading material. I cannot say that there is an observable level of tension in the room.

9:36 AM
I had to step out for a moment earlier to return a phone call and I missed when Park and Chronister exited the courtroom.

The court report and the prosecutor in the bench trial are having a pleasant conversation.

9:38 AM
A casually dressed man in jeans and a T-shirt enters and asks what the case is about.  I try to quietly inform him. He thanks me and then leaves.

9:39 AM
Bench trial.
The court clerk enters from the back area and asks the room, "Are we ready?"  I believe the defense attorney responds "Yes."  The bailiff gets up to collect the defendant.  He's brought out.

9:42 AM
Bench trial.
A prosecution witness takes the stand. A doctor. He is an emergency medicine physician.  He works at LA County Medical Center.  I'm betting he treated the victim.

I will step outside to publish since Judge Kennedy is on the bench.

9:44 AM
Chronister and Park reenter the courtroom.

9:47 AM
Bench trial.
The doctor is describing the wounds to the victim's body.

Luz from Dateline enters Dept. 109.

9:53 AM
Greg Redding and his son appear to be paying attention to the bench trial.

Looking over at Park, she appears to be listening to the bench trial also.  She then pulls her fingers through her hair and goes back to reading her magazine.

10:04 AM
Bench trial.
An officer is now on the stand, testifying about the arrest.  When he searched Mr. Thomas, he recovered a knife. It was in two tan socks, then that was slid down his pants into his waistband.

10:09 AM
Bench trial is in recess for a moment. Judge Kennedy is off the bench.

10:15 AM
It's all quiet in the courtroom now.  Everyone is back to whispering as quietly as they can.  Patricia Redding and her so have left. The gallery has thinned out a bit.

The bench trial.
The prosecution rested it's case. There are defense witnesses still to testify.  Counsel for that case have left. 

One of the reporters leaves to get a snack. Another reporter asks if they can bring back some water.  It's now back to the tedious waiting with nothing going on except whispers and echos from the hallway outside.

10:31 AM
Parks sister Kim arrives.  Smiles, hugs and kisses are exchanged.

10:39 AM
Answering a question. There have been a few times where I have seen a contemplative expression on Parks face. I don't believe I can say that she looks worries all the time.  She is obviously happy to see her family that come to support her.

10:41 AM
Park and Chronister reenter the courtroom with another supporter I've seen before.  Currently, the bailiff is out of the courtroom.  The beautifully tall girlfriend of Juliana's who testified, Kelly Duncan enters and hands a card to the Redding family.

10:49 AM
The bailiff enters and sits back down at his desk.  The only sounds are coming from the clerks desk as she works on her computer.

10:50 AM
Answering a question. Yes. We still have another hour before the lunch break is called.

10:54 AM
Again, thank you to everyone who has generously made a donation to my trial coverage costs.  My husband and I so appreciate your support.  All the donations, no matter the amount, help to cover my costs in providing this public service. I know I am behind in writing my personal thank yous to those of you who have donated in the last few days but I will get to them, I promise.

If anyone wishes to write me privately, I will honor your request for confidentiality.

10:55 AM
There has been a lot of speculation in the comments that the jury is hung.  I don't see it that way.  I hold out hope that the jury is still trying to reach a unanimous verdict.  The jury isn't hung unless they tell the court they are hung.  It's that simple.

10:58 AM
The jurors 'could be' taking a break and not leaving the jury room. That is theoretically possible.

As of now, they have deliberated 2 hours this morning.

11:00 AM
There are supporters here for both sides. I would say there is a full bench row of supporters for each side.  Kelly Duncan is the only witness who testified who is currently in the courtroom, waiting.

11:02 AM
One of Park's more senior supporters appears to be playing a game of solitaire on a ThinkPad or iPad device.

11:05 AM
I update about every five to ten minutes or so.  Cher Brooks, a stunningly beautiful black woman who testified for the defense enters. Dept. 109.  It looked like she had a cup of joe or tea in her hand.

11:09 AM
I stepped out into the hallway to stretch my legs for a moment.  It's not easy to sit still, keep my computer on my lap and type.

There are a few people from each side of the case relaxing in the hallway. In the hallway, Detective Thompson is chatting with two gentlemen I'm not familiar with.  There are also several reporters hard at work on their laptops or smart phones.

11:11 AM
A new reporter face I've not seen before enters.  Some in the gallery complain about the chilly courtroom, myself included.  Friday it was too hot, today it's like an icicle.

11:19 AM
Cher Brooks is Juliana's friend. She spent the night at her house on the evening of March 14th.  The defense called her as a witness to testify about spending the night with Juliana. They shared Juliana's bed.  Not as lovers, but as two friends. I personally don't see anything wrong with that.

11:23 AM
Answering a question.  Everyone in the courtroom will be able to hear the jurors when they "buzz."  It's quite loud.  It usually makes my heart race when I hear the two buzzes, because I keep anticipating hearing a third that indicates there is a verdict.

11:25 AM
Commenting on a comment.  The law views circumstantial evidence with equal weight as direct evidence (eye witness testimony). There is no difference between the two.  This case did not have DNA evidence alone.  This case also had fingerprint evidence. There was evidence presented that linked Park to the victim through a common individual, Dr. Uwaydah.  All of that testimony is evidence beyond just the DNA evidence.

11:29 AM
Let me see if I can explain a bit about witnesses called by a defense attorney.

In a case, the defense is given discovery by the prosecution. From that discovery, they learn about the investigation. They learn about the people who knew the victim and who was with the victim during critical times, or relevant times.  There may be LE interviews with witnesses that the defense receives.

The defense, reading discovery, may want to call an individual to the stand to present testimony about their interaction with the victim or the defendant.  They may have a trial strategy, where they believe what that individual will say may help their case.  Individuals who were interviewed by police are not obligated to speak to defense representatives before trial.  The defense would have to subpoena the individual they want to testify, to ensure they appear for court.  I hope that answers your question.

11:38 AM
Please be kind and respectful to each other in the comments.  Sometimes, people are leaving comments from their cell phones, and for me, I'm not the best typist even on my laptop. I often have spelling errors, too.

11:45 AM
Years ago, in 2009, the Spector verdict was reached at 11:45 AM on a Monday.

11:46 AM
When you only have the written word, so much of our unspoken communication is lost. Facial expression, tone of voice, body language... make up 90% of communication.

11:50 AM
Park is sitting quietly, reading a magazine.  The few times that Park has looked in my direction she has smiled and I've smiled back.

I have not personally observed Park exchanging direct looks with the Redding family.  It's my impression that both sides politely give each other space.

Direct evidence is eye witness testimony. It is the testimony of someone who has personally observed an event.  Everything else is considered circumstantial evidence.  Understand that often times, circumstantial evidence is more powerful that direct evidence.  It's misleading, imho, for people to say "there's only circumstantial evidence" as if, it has a lesser value than direct, eyewitness testimony.

In the eyes of the court, direct and circumstantial evidence is equal. One is not better than another.  They both have equal weight in the eyes of the law.

11:55 AM
Not all cases have an eyewitness (direct evidence) to a murder.  Like I said, circumstantial evidence can be very compelling evidence.

11:58 AM
The bailiff heads back to the jury room to inquire.

12:25 PM
The jurors went to lunch. I'm at lunch. There is no verdict yet.  Back at 1:30 PM.  Thank you everyone for reading T&T!

1:05 PM
Up on the 9th floor.  My lunch was a "working" lunch on another project.
I had ground turkey & white onions spiced with hatch New Mexico chilies (Mr. Sprocket's favorite spice). I added a small salad from the cafeteria to get some greens.

1:22 PM
I'm up on the ninth floor, waiting.  It's a balancing act to stand, hold my laptop with one hand and type with the other.

1:32 PM
I'm inside Dept. 109 in my favorite seat.  From where I'm sitting, I have a good view of the well of the court. People file in and take their favorite seats.

1:33 PM
The Redding family are not inside the courtroom yet, but a few of their friends and other family members are.

There's still a bid of loud conversation in the gallery at the moment.

The bench trial.
The defense attorney is here.  He tells the bailiff he will step out of the courtroom for a moment and will be right back.

1:36 PM
BUZZ!  The jury is deliberating.

Kim Park exits the courtroom.

1:43 PM
Counsel for the bench trial are both here.  When that goes on the record, my time in-between postings will be a bit longer.   The bailiff asks counsel, "You guys ready to go?"  He then goes to collect the defendant.

1:45 PM
I try to sit back, get comfortable, cross my legs and balance my laptop on my crossed leg.  Judge Kennedy takes the bench.  The defense goes out to collect his witness.

When the bailiff walks by me to shut the inner courtroom doors, I notice there is this huge brass like key hanging from the front of his belt. It's very unusual looking with spines on both sides of it. It looked like it was at least five or six inches long.  I've never noticed this key before.

1:51 PM
Out in the hallway are members of Juliana's family.  Also hanging out in the hallway are DDA Okun-Wiese and Detective Thompson.

Members of Juliana's family and friends enter the courtroom as a group.

1:59 PM
Thank you to Anon @1:56 PM who explained the large brass like key.

2:05 PM
Although I've been told the names of a few of the people who have come to court to support Juliana and her family, I will only publish names that are part of the public record (via testimony).  The reason for that is, I do not have permission to use their names.  I forgot to answer a question earlier.  Patricia is the name of Juliana's mother.

2:08 PM
Sounds like the locks that fit the key are huge.

2:09 PM
Park appears to be listening to the testimony in the bench trial.  There is an RN who is testifying as a defense witness about an event in a hospital where he encountered the defendant in a specific hospital unit. There are notes in a patient file that the witness is referring to.  Currently, the witness is under cross by the prosecution.

Judge Kennedy asks the witness where he was being housed. It was in an individual cell.  So sounds like he was in custody at the time.  From the notes the witness has, the defendant was not violent in the RN's presence.

2:17 PM
The bench trial.
The defense attorney tripped over a rolling cart in the well as he was exiting to retrieve his next witness, another mental health RN who worked in the jail.

2:20 PM
Here's how the court process works.
First, you have a trial. The jury deliberates and reaches a verdict.  The verdict is read in open court.  If the verdict is guilty in a murder trial, the defendant is taken into custody, if they are not already in custody.  Formal sentencing does not happen immediately.  It's usually scheduled for some time in the future.  It can be a few weeks, a month, etc.  It depends on several things.

Once the defendant is formally sentenced, it's my understanding that's when a defendant would usually file an appeal.  If I'm remembering correctly, the California Penal Code states that after sentencing, a convicted individual must be transferred to the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation within 30 days.

Filing an appeal.
An appeal takes time to wind through the legal system. It would take an attorney time, to go through the entire case file record, find points of law that were ruled on and present arguments to the appellate court that the rulings at the trial (or before trial) were in error.

Once the appeal is finished and filed, then the State of California has the opportunity to present their brief to counter the defendant's appeal.  This brief is prepared by the State of California. The case is no longer with the various counties that prosecuted the case.

After that is filed, the defendant has the ability to file a counter brief to the people's brief.  When all those briefs are filed, then the appellate courts review the moving papers.  The appellate court gets everything. They get a copy of the complete case file. They get copies/lists of the evidence presented at trial.  Once the judges have reviewed the case then a date is set for oral arguments.  This is usually just a formality. The judges by this time, have close to made up their minds.  Oral arguments are a very short amount of time.  Like 20 minutes per side or less.  In eight weeks or less, the judges publish their ruling on the case.

2:31 PM
Judge Kennedy calls a brief break in the bench trial. She leaves the bench and the defendant is taken back into the holding cell.

2:53 PM
Answering a question.  I have not attended that many trials in full. Just a few really. The list of trials I've attended are on the right side of the blog, except for one, Robert Blake.  Phil Spector 1 & 2, Cameron Brown 2, James Fayed, Stephanie Lazarus, Kelly Soo Park. 

There have been two instances where I did not provide beginning to end coverage. Phil Spector 1 and Cameron Brown 2. In Cameron Brown 2, I became ill during the defense case and I missed several of the witnesses.  In Spector 1, I left near the end of the case for personal reasons. I came back for the reading of jury instructions.

2:56 PM
I attended the Conrad Murray preliminary hearing, not the actual trial.

3:00 PM
I forgot to answer the question!  This is not the longest number of days I've sat on verdict watch. I think the Spector 2 jurors deliberated over 9 days, but less hours.

3:06 PM
Bench trial.
The defense attorney comes back and says, "I'm ready."  The defendant is brought out.

3:07 PM
Judge Kennedy takes the bench and court is in session.

3:11 PM
Bench trial.
A defense witness is on the stand, another RN who has worked her whole career at the Men's Central Jail.

A group of Park supporters enter the courtroom.  The bailiff admonishes the gallery to be quiet.

3:17 PM
Answering comments.  I do not know if I will attend a potential retrial. It would depend on when it happened, and if I was already attending another case.

There was no DNA expert that testified "1 and 20,000 chance it isnt hers.." That is incorrect.  The DNA analyst testified that to randomly find the exact same profile, as the one found at the crime scene, they would have to test one-trillion people to find an exact match, to the DNA found at the crime scene and on Juliana.  That's what the DNA expert testified to.   In essence, the DNA profile that was found at the scene is unbelievably rare.

2:21 PM
Parks counsel enter the courtroom.  Park gets up from her seat and sits with Buehler in the row of seats behind the bailiff's desk. Kassabian is sitting two seats over to my left.

3:22 PM
Buzz Buzz Buzz!  We have a verdict.

3:24 PM
People start to file in and it makes too much noise, since a witness is on the stand in the bench trial.  The bailiff tells the people entering to wait outside, that there is a trial going on.

From the bench, Judge Kennedy tells the bailiff that they have a right to be here. That we cannot exclude people from the courtroom.  They can enter but they have to sit down.

Park and Chronister exit the courtroom with Park's counsel a minute earlier.

3:27 PM
Park reenters the courtroom and sits next to her mother.

Chronister enters and sits next to his wife.

3:30 PM
A cell phone goes off in the courtroom. Judge Kennedy addresses the gallery, "Is there anyone else who needs to turn their cell phone off?"

Another person enters and their cell phone makes a noise.

3:31 PM
Detective Thompson enters.  She motions to the Redding family.  Patricia, Greg and their son leave the courtroom.

More deputy sheriff's arrive to keep order. There are three deputies in the courtroom.  Our bailiff is off somewhere.  Now a fourth deputy enters Dept. 109.

3:34 PM
Our bailiff comes out of the juror area.  Jane Robison from the DA's office arrived but I don't see her now.  DDA Gary Hearnsberger, head of Major Crimes was entering the ante chamber as I was exiting the courtroom to publish.

Kathy from the Public Information Office arrives.  Greg Fisher from 48 Hours arrives along with LA Times reporter Jack Leonard.

3:38 PM
No one told the Reddings to leave. Detective Thompson wanted to speak to them.  It is not unusual at all for this many deputies to be in the courtroom when a verdict has been reached and the courtroom is packed. This is normal.

Judge Kennedy ends the bench trial for the day. She asks for the prosecutor in the Park case.  DDA Hearnsberger tells Judge Kennedy that she is in the hallway.

3:40 PM
The defense attorney's enter. The courtroom is packed with people. Judge Kennedy stands. Parks defense counsel enter the well and sit at the defense table.  The prosecution is at the people's table.

The clerk is getting papers for the judge.

3:42 PM
Judge Kennedy asks that park step up and take a seat next to her lawyer.

3:44 PM
Judge Kennedy moves papers at her desk.  I want to just caution everyone in the audience, whatever the verdicts are, please contain your response, what ever your repsonse. There are things that have to be done, on the record. Please keep your responses (calm).

Bailiff. Please keep all cell phones turned completely off.

The jury enters.  The alternates enter.

Will just wait now, for the verdict.

On the record.

Juror #4, I understand the jury has reached a verdict.  It was the banker, jury foreman.

The AP reporter arrives.

Have been unable to reach a verdict on the lesser offense. Have reached a verdict on the greater offense.

There are a couple of jurors that are not following the court's instructions.

With reference to the charge on the lesser included offense. Do you think there's anything further than can be done to reach a conclusion... You say the jurors are not following the instructions.

Obviously, if jurors have a difference of opinion,... but if they are not following the courts instructions, I may need some more information. I don't want to know about deliberations, but I'm unclear about what you mean that the jurors are not following the courts instructions.

Are they refusing to deliberate, I don't care what the courts instructions are.

We have heard comments along those lines?


Do you feel that there is anything the court can do, to instruct the jury that.... however, it is the law that all the jurors follow the instructions of the court.

Judge Kennedy speaks to the jurors.  It's not the courts rule, to tell any juror, how they should come to a conclusion.  But it is a law that all jurors follow the instructions of the court.

Is there any additional information that the court could provide.

Going to ask that you all go back, to write a note to me, as to what instructions are at issue, and see if you can come to further (deliberations).

If you feel that there is an instruction that you feel is being disregarded... at least for the moment, going to ask that you go back into the jury room, and the alternates step back outside.

We'll wait to hear from them.

Buehler asks to see the note. Judge Kennedy leaves the bench.

Park appears visibly shaken.

3:55 PM
I am quite confused because I thought there was only one charge. I didn't realize there was a lesser charge.

We have received clarification from Jane Robison.  It appears that the jurors have come to a decision on first degree, but cannot reach a decision on second degree.

4:02 PM
Court transcripts are not available online. You can however, purchase a personal copy from the court reporter. They are not cheap.

The only people who know the verdict on the greater charge, (1st degree) is the judge and the jury at this point.  Everyone else hears the verdict when it is read in open court.

3:05 PM
Buzz! Buzz!  The court clerk goes to investigate.

4:07 PM
The courtroom gallery  fills back up again.  Park is at the defense table. Waiting on Judge Kennedy and the jury.

Five deputies inside the courtroom.

4:09 PM
The cameraman adjusts a microphone at the clerk's desk.

4:11 PM
A commenter is correct. IF the jury has acquitted on the first degree charge, Park could not be retried on first degree.

4:12 PM
Buzz! Buzz! The bailiff investigates. He comes out with a paper and heads directly to Judge Kennedy's chambers

4:14 PM
Court is in session.
Received the following note, we request the following and enhanced definiton of second degree murder.  520, of the instructions.

What we are going to do, because it is 4:15 is let the jury go.

But it does not appear the jury has reached a verdict. and until the court has a chance to have a measured discussion.

The defense asks that the verdict for first degree be read.  Judge Kennedy states she is not taking any verdicts at this time.

The alternates enter.

The jury enters.

Once again on the record.  I'm in receipt of your note, juror #4 foreperson.  You're asking for an enhanced instruction on second degree, and a definition between first and second degree.  And for information on page 10 (of jury instructions).

It doesn't appear to me that the jury has not reached a verdict.  We are going to discuss this with counsel, we are going to do that tomorrow.  Going to be excusing you and the alternates until 9:00 tomorrow. Admonishes the jury not to watch the news, use the Internet.

The jury exits.

Judge Kennedy leans down low to speak to her bailiff privately while on the bench.

All jurors have left the courtroom.

#4 of 520 reads as follows.  Judge Kennedy reads the 520. My inclination is, to allow limited of period of time of further argument to the jury. The difference between first degree murder and second. Each side to address the jury for 10 minutes.  The prosecution can divide it all up or address at all one time.

Will make copies of this question and order

Buehler asks to see the verdict forms, and Judge Kennedy denies the request.  He is making an objection to the way the court is handling this proceding. He objects strongly.

The comment that is written on the verdict form is ambigous.

Buehler, feels that verdict should be taken now.  He continues

Contrary, there is a note on this form that two jurors were not following instructions.  At this point we are adjourned until tomorrow.   Judge Kennedy will give the defense the written note, but not the one on the envelope of the finished jury forms.

4:23 PM We are in recess.

Counsel is ordered back at 8:30 AM tomorrow.

4:29 PM
Defense attorney George Buehler is speaking to the press in the hallway.  He believes the court is in error for not taking the verdict on first degree at this time.

6:08 PM
I am not home yet.  I had to stop by Mr. Sprocket's current work project and help with a difficult part of the job.

You know, what a helper would do. Hold this just like this and don't move an inch..  Move that over there there. Now wait until I get on the other side.  Don't move yet. Keep steady.  I'm inbetween helping to hold things at the moment. 

I'm wearing one of Mr. Sprocket's spare work shirts. I'm in a dirty, dusty commercial building basement. I often call it the dungeon.  I have very sketchy Internet connection at the moment. However, I will try to answer the most important question now.

Here is my opinion at this point.

In jury instructions, the jury is instructed to tackle the first degree murder charge first.

There are two possible outcomes.
1. HYPOTHETICAL: They jury come to a guilty verdict on first. Their job is done. 
2. HYPOTHETICAL: The jury reaches a not guilty verdict on first. They then move onto second degree.

The jurors have reached a verdict on the greater charge.  They have not reached a verdict on the lesser charge.

Once I get home, I will try to answer everyone's questions.

7:40 PM
Here is LA Times reporter, Jack Leonard's report on what happened in court this afternoon.

I will gather all your questions and see if I can answer them as a group. Please be patient. I still am trying to unwind from a long court day.

10:09 PM
Thank you T&T readers for your support.  It's so appreciated.

I apologize that I am too tired to get to your questions tonight.  I'll be back at court at 8:30 AM tomorrow, to report on what remedy Judge Kennedy and counsel agree upon for fulfilling the jury's request for more detailed instructions on first and second degree murder.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work in covering this trial and the verdict watch.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

Good morning god bless u!!!!

Anonymous said...

Today hope to Have a verdict

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i hope today is the day of justice !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope a verdict is reached today for everyone involved, and especially so Sprocket gets a break:) You said Mrs Redding had a heard above her ribbon that affected you..a heard of what? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

I hope the verdict comes in today!

Anonymous said...

Justice for Julianna!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how stressful this situation of waiting for the verdict it is on the family. Are the tensions in the courtroom getting more stressful or is everyone calm? Everyday that goes by must be getting more and more tension.

Anonymous said...

Buzz buzz buzz

Anonymous said...

need the verdict come today please

Anonymous said...

Hoping for a verdict today, and good luck to both families...Whatever the verdict is, I hope justice prevails, and I hope both extended families can move forward and find peace.

Anonymous said...

hope to hear three buzzes today

Anonymous said...

guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty come on jury

Anonymous said...

so how does parks look the same look worried about the same does she look confident

Anonymous said...

I really feel like the verdict going to come in today I am scared because it's been so long I hope it is not a hung jury dexterity gave me hope the other day when the jury no came in about 1st and 2nd degree murder although she speculated I was speculating that they would have a decision today and I'm so praying that its not a hundred

Anonymous said...

justice today if you think it will happen I hope it will happen

Anonymous said...

Verdict please

Anonymous said...

I was hoping that would come before lunch I guess we still have time right ?

Anonymous said...

yeah cause now you're going on about 28 hours aren't they I wonder what the hung up on

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the jury is hanging in there this morning. Usually they would have taken a break by now.

Anonymous said...

so if she found guilty today she will be arrested and taken to jail right we know that she will start the appeal what does the judge sentance her right then and there or does she come back for sentencing

Anonymous said...

are the Juliana supporters are there a lot of America I hope any of the prosecution witnesses back in the courtroom for today's verdict if there is a verdict

Anonymous said...

okay let us know when more people for the reading family comes in I just love this you're really good at you make us feel like we're there with you

Anonymous said...

oh this verdict watch is very hard iI can imagine how bread and Patricia feel its Patricia right that's her mom

Anonymous said...

cher testified for the defense is that a friend of Juliana or parks ??

Anonymous said...

let me hear 3 buzz buzz buzz

Anonymous said...

well thank you for all you do this is very interesting I'm having a hard time having patience I can't imagine how all you people feel

Anonymous said...

my prayers are with you Mr and Mrs redding

Anonymous said...

Hoping for a guilty verdict today!

Anonymous said...

so everybody in the courtroom hear the bell

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you KSP...I hope the jury understands that you cannot find somebody guilty on circumstantial evidence...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but the Lazarus pic is just plain creepy!

Anonymous said...

justice for Juliana!!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember the Cher Brooks testimony. I wonder what the defense was trying to get to with that? That her DNA was there also? It just seemed strange to me. If the defense calls a witness, do they have to interview them first or tell them what they are going to be asking about, or do they just subpena them and ask when they are on the stand?

Anonymous said...

guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty guilty

Anonymous said...

oh good that is enough evidence in my opinion but is it enough evidence to the jury

Anonymous said...

well we have about 20 minutes before lunch let's hope we hear that buzz

Anonymous said...

sorry wasn't meaning to be offensive on the spelling etc

Anonymous said...

wow well that's interesting I hope we can get a verdict before lunch but you never know right

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, a question RE your comment about circumstantial, was the DNA considered circumstantial and not direct evidence? And if so why?

Anonymous said...

no need to say sorry I've been laughing at my spelling also

Anonymous said...

Do KSP's facial expressions or her body language tell you anything? Does she seem concerned, and does she ever make eye contact with the Reddings?

Anonymous said...

so did the bailiff go back to see if they were going to break for lunch or did you hear some buzz I hope he doesn't come back with a note

Anonymous said...

I hope today is the day that we here the verdit.

Anonymous said...

are they at lunch yet

Anonymous said...

great okay me too what are you having for lunch today LOL

Anonymous said...

Let's hope today. Guilty

Anonymous said...

Yeah !!!!! Ok here we go pray for a verdict

Anonymous said...

Guilty !!!!

Anonymous said...

The large brass key, you describe with the bailiff is a key to the holding cell, where prisoners are kept prior to entering court....

Anonymous said...

Can u name julianas friends?

Anonymous said...

Glad to help re the KEY,imagine what the lock looks like...LOL

Anonymous said...

If Ms Park is convicted and files an appeal, what does that mean?

Anonymous said...

Sprocket...Has there ever been a trial that you have followed since day 1 that you had decided the deliberations were just going on too long so you had to cut out and no longer attend?

Anonymous said...

if there is a re-trial, will you attend? dna might not be conclusive enough in this trial since one of the experts said there is a 1 and 20,000 chance it isnt hers, which might be enough for reasonable doubt.

Anonymous said...

so another trial goes one in the same court room while the jurors deliberate?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the expert said it was a 1 in 20,000 change that it wasn't hers! Can you clarify??

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Please let it be First Degree! Justice for Juliana..

Anonymous said...

Wow Wow Wow!.. I am SO nervous!!!! OMG! If convicted, will she be allowed to be free until sentencing???

Anonymous said...

Here we go!!!! Verdict time!!!

Anonymous said...

why did they tell the reddings to exit the room? and is it usual for that many officers to arrive for a verdict?

Anonymous said...

Will there be any live video coverage of the verdict reading for people out of state?

Anonymous said...

I'm sooo nervous!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW. No matter what the verdict, we thank you for your dedication and wonderful coverage of this trial. My prayers are with both families as their lives will be changed forever after the verdict has been read. Thank you again and again!

Anonymous said...

Are official transcripts available online anywhere? They have them to read back from, so we know they exist. Can we see them?

Thanks again, Betsy. At least this trial is over.

Anonymous said...

could the verdict still be a mistrial?

Anonymous said...

do the prosecution or defense know the verdict before it is read to the court?

Anonymous said...

Whats KSP like? Is she nervous? What about her family???

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me! After all this time I can't believe this.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can you remind us of the greater and lesser offenses they're referencing?

Anonymous said...

Is murder 2 considered a lesser charge???

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. What's the note about?

Anonymous said...

I think Kelly Soo Park lucked out. In my opinion (and this is sheer speculation), the jury has already decided to acquit her of first degree murder. According to the foreman, a few jurors are not following the court's instructions. We don't know specifics but it could be that they are simply refusing to convict at all. All along, I thought that it was a debate between first and second degree murder when they are probably debating guilt versus innocence on the second degree count.

Anonymous said...

Must be not guilty on 1st degree then. The other scenario doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

If they can't reach a decision on 2nd degree...then maybe she's not guilty. Wow, I'm not sure what would be worse having a family member in prison knowing they killed, or having them free knowing they wow wow! Is this a weird one for you???

Anonymous said...

So am I understandin correctly that it is not guilty on FIRST DEGREE??

Anonymous said...

What the heck is going on over there??? This is so confusing!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so confused!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've hit refresh about 89 times. Can't imagine what this is like for the parties involved.

Anonymous said...

If the jury is debating guilt versus innocence on the second degree murder count but has already decided to acquit on the first degree count, I don't think the prosecutor can recharge first degree murder in a subsequent trial because double jeopardy will attach. They will be able to retry her of second degree murder but I don't think they will be able to retry the first degree count. This might be a question for someone from the prosecutor's office.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the foreman is really taking his job seriously, kudos.

Anonymous said...

THis is a travesty! Murder for hire. Her DNA is at the crime scene. I'm not there but its on rocket science.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket what do you think it meant when he said some weren't not following the courts rules?

Anonymous said...

I feel so much for both sets of parents. I can't imagine what they have gone through. Here we all sit, unable to reach out and comfort them. Hope this is over soon.

Anonymous said...

If they found her guilty on first degree, could they just not have stated that or do they have to find guilty on both? Or come to a decision on both eve if those decisions are different on one count than the other?

Anonymous said...

ABC Channel 7 led their 4:00 news with "A Verdict has been reached in the Kelly Soo Park murder case. We'll be back with you as soon as it is announced" so, of course, I headed right here! What Channel 7 reporter is there?

Anonymous said...

How late will they go today? This is the latest I they have been I think?

Anonymous said...

At this point, the Judge must be extremely careful not to create reversible error by inquiring too specifically into the accusation by the foreman that certain jurors are refusing to follow the Court's instructions. It is almost impossible to prove that someone is not following the Court's instructions because the critical instructions are subject to interpretations of guilty of not-guilty. If certain jurors are violating other instructions such as "Do not visit the scene of the crime" or "Do not perform Internet research about this case", that is the specific type of jury misconduct which the judge has the right to find out about. If Judge Kennedy inquires too deeply and is not careful with her words, Kelly Soo Park's lawyers may argue on appeal that those inquiries pressured hold-out jurors to change their vote from not guilty to guilty. Judge Kennedy must be careful to walk a very fine line when she explores the nature and scope of the problems the foreman has identified.

Anonymous said...

Whew! What a cliffhanger...

Anonymous said...

I'm still confused! So can the verdict for First Degree still be guilty? Hoping the Redding's will get some sort of closure tomorrow. Praying for them! Justice for Juliana..

Anonymous said...

what you are going to see here is an ultimate mistrial,the jury inst must be poorley assembled if the jury cannot tell the diff between 1st and 2nd degree murder.

Anonymous said...

why do jurors need to reach a verdict on both charges? and what if they cannot reach a verdict on on second degree? And what do you mean by not following instructions? And did the judge order the defendant back tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! Looks like KSP is walking out of court tomorrow a free lady!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, do you think the defense attorney is right Sprocket? Was the judge holding up due process by denying the verdict on M1 to be read? And if so, can they move for a mistrial if this was a misstep on the Judges part?

Anonymous said...

not really sure what happened in there today...could you explain what went down after the buzz buzz buzz and what is going to happen tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

why do you think the defense was demanding that the first verdict be read today?

Anonymous said...

This seems very unusual and I don't blame the defense for objecting even though I believe she should be guilty of 1st degree! This seems like it's turning into a circus and I hope there is no mistrial. Poor Redding Family. Prayers to you! Having serious doubts about the integrity and intellect if these jurors! Follow directions! These are peoples' lives! Good grief.

Anonymous said...

The defense is smart in demanding the verdict be read, in doing so he establishes grounds for a good appeal...

Anonymous said...

Wow!! ...unbelievable

Can we infer that the jury acquitted on 1st degree and the judge is trying to avoid mistrial on the 2nd degree charge? ..are you sensing that Betsy?

The defense counsel seems to have thought so and wanted that 'not guilty' verdict read and on the public record books before the jury changed their minds... but JK squashed that from happening.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket- Don't you think the judge is opening this case up for an appeal? If the jury states they have reached a verdict on 1 charge, then that verdict should not be revisited and should have been spoken today. It seems to be clearly a violation of the defendant's rights, regardless of what the verdict is.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone (on the jury) reneged on a quid pro quo. What’s the penalty for jury tampering?

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, great job with the play by play. You're a pro. I do ask that you use caution in providing an opinion on what the jurors have or have not reached.

Personally, I believe the first degree charge will be a not-guilty, while leaving to wounded why they're having difficulty with understanding the corpus of 2nd degree.

Thank you again, for your great work!

Anonymous said...

If the Murder I charge must be settled first, why must they even address Murder 2 unless Murder I is a Not Guilty verdict? So isn't this really announcing that that is the case?

If the mysterious problem is that 2 jurors cannot decide between Murder I or Murder 2, which was the speculation from the previous question, will that result in a mistrial because there must be a unanimous verdict?

And this says nothing about all the other mistrial issues raised re the judge!


Anonymous said...

I was glad to see the comment about jury tampering because I have been thinking about this for awhile now. To avoid criminal prosecution for jury tampering, someone might try to make it appear that Dr. Munir is behind it. I also wonder whether the two hold-out jurors may have claimed that they do not know Kelly Soo when they are acquainted. I realize this is far-fetched, but I hope that some of the reporters look into these issues.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anon at 7:12. The Parks and apparently the Dr. know A LOT of people in the vast LA County area, and KSP's husband may too. In this case I think it is possible. Finding out or proving it is a whole other matter, which may never happen if its true.

Anonymous said...

Don't respond to anything tonite, you've done more than enough. Relax, you'll be there again tomorrow, and all this madness will for sure take care of itself. Please rest and maybe even have a laugh or two with your husband:)

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sprocket! Will you be in court reporting today? Thank you so much for your awesome coverage of this trial. I noticed this morning you haven't posted yet the new day and usally by now you have. I hope all is well with you and Mr. Sprocket?

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Betsy...Hope you were able to sleep in the midst of all this. Do you know if the Defense hired a professional jury consultant? You know, like that blond lady in the OJ Simpson trial. If so that could explain the juror hold-outs if that's what they are.
BJ in SV

Anonymous said...

Morning Sprocket! Well so looking forward to seeing what goes on in court today! Thank you for your great reporting!