Friday, June 3, 2016

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper," Penatly Phase Verdict Watch Day 1

Lonnie Franklin, Jr, left, Def. Atty. Seymour Amster, right.
Photo Credit, Al Seib, Los Angeles Times

Friday June 3, 2016 - Verdict Watch 10:47 AM
The bailiff takes the evidence book and the verdict forms back to the jury room.

10:57 AM
It's very quiet in here. ABC's Miriam Hernandez is the only other person in the gallery besides myself and scriptwriter MW.

The clerk is busy on the phone. The ticking of the clock is the loudest noise in the courtroom now, even though all three of us in the gallery are working on our laptops.

11:11 AM
In the eerily silent courtroom, I'm working on the detailed testimony from the people's final witnesses, a week ago Thursday: The German woman, the JAG officer, the Army records supervisor and the three victim impact witnesses. Currently, I'm in the middle of the JAG officer's testimony.  So I'm flipping back and forth between this tab and my work on that entry.

11:21 AM
The clerk answers a phone call question about closing arguments.

11:35 AM
A deputy enters and asks the clerk a question. Then a woman enters. It's a older woman from the public who has attended the trial off and on for the last couple of weeks. It appears she thinks she left a pair of shoes in a bag inside the courtroom. She speaks to the clerk. The clerk asks her to wait for the bailiff to return.

11:40 AM
The clerk is hard at work at her desk. I can see files being organized and I hear sounds of heavy stapling, stamping of forms and occasional typing.

11:49 AM
I notice something I've never noticed before. On the wall behind the bench, just to the right of the US flag, in-between the clerk's desk area and the bench, is a round white button of some sort. It's about 3 or 4 inches round, set withing a square. It's down low, lower than the thermostat that's to the left of the flag.

11:54 AM
I ask the bailiff. He tells me it's a light switch controlling lights over the judge's bench.

11:56 AM
The bailiff opens the door to the custody area. He calls in, "Franklin, are you good?" I believe Franklin replies, "I'm good."

11:58 AM
BUZZ! BUZZ! The bailiff tells us, "That's either a question or break time," as he heads back to the jury room.

Break. The jurors leave for lunch.

Judge Kennedy comes out and smiling, watches as the jurors leave. One juror tells judge Kennedy, "I loved your necklace yesterday."

And we are on lunch break.

The bailiff unlocks the door and the jurors file in. There is some pleasant banter between the jurors and the bailiff.

2:13 PM
In the gallery, it's just me, Miriam Hernandez, MW, and a news camera operator I've seen around trials for a long time. The bailiff and the clerk have been having a conversation that's been keeping both of them in stitches for about 10 minutes now. I can also hear some conversation in the back support rooms among other court staff members.

There's not much to talk about, except when the jury might come back with a verdict. In the James Fayed case, the jurors deliberated five days before coming back with a death penalty verdict. Like I've said time and time again, I don't try to predict what a jury will do, because juries will surprise you.

 2:46 PM
Not a peep from the jury. All quiet in Dept. 109.

Judge Kennedy comes out to ask her clerk a question. Judge Kennedy is wearing a dark green olive dress with a brown cinched belt. From where I'm sitting, it's a white looking beaded necklace.

3:06 PM
Tracy from the DA's victim advocate program drops by with DDA Tannaz Mokayef drop in to see what's happening. We chat the Fayed case and the Kelly Soo Park case. DDA Mokayef prosecuted the three accomplices connected to Pamela Fayed's murder.

3:14 PM
The bailiff comes over to where Tracy and DDA Mokayef are sitting to join their conversation.

3:24 PM
Buzz! Buzz! It's either a question or a break. The bailiff goes to check.

The bailiff comes out. The jurors have a question but no paper. Someone is on hold on the phone but the bailiff says they don't have to come over.  The bailiff states they jury is going home.

5:05 PM
I'm home. It's clear from what I observed and overheard that the jurors asked if they could go home early. The clerk or the bailiff went back to Judge Kennedy's chambers to ask. Right after it was approved, the bailiff told the gallery and he went over to let the jury know.

While this was going on, the clerk was on the phone with possibly one of the attorneys. That's what I believe.

Jurors return Monday at 9:00 am to continue their deliberations.


David In TN said...

I was looking through my files today and found a L.A. Times article from July 10, 2010 titled "Grim Sleeper Suspect Stayed Below LAPD's Radar."

Lonnie Franklin had a lengthy criminal history "stretching over four decades but was never sent to prison despite calls by law enforcement officials for tough sentences, according to Los Angeles County court records released Friday."

Franklin had at least 15 arrests car theft, burglary, firearms possession, etc. In most cases he avoided prosecution and jail time, getting away with probation.

In 2003, Franklin was "caught driving a luxury SUV stolen from the Glendale Galleria." Wonder who stole it? After a plea deal, Franklin was sentenced to 270 days in jail. He was released four months early due to "overcrowding."

Two months later, when Franklin should have still been in jail per the plea, he killed Valerie McCorvey.