Juror’s ‘Political Bias’ Prompts Mistrial in ‘Build the Wall’ Case

On Thursday morning, the 11 jurors sent their note, which quoted the 12th as making remarks including, “Tim Shea is a good man. He doesn’t beat his wife,” and “You just can’t vote to lynch someone.”

He went on to say that the juror had displayed animosity toward the government, claiming that Mr. Shea was tried in the Southern District of New York because people there vote a certain way but that he should have instead been tried in a Southern state. That juror had also injected into deliberations topics outside the scope of the trial, including talk of “political parties,” according to the note.

Citing “a violation of oath,” the note asked Judge Torres to replace the juror with an alternate.

Judge Torres questioned that juror away from fellow panelists and the public. According to a transcript, she asked whether the juror had “biases or personal views” that would prevent him from being “fair and impartial,” whether he could determine facts subject to his explanation of the law and whether he could consult with other jurors. The juror replied no to the first question and yes to the second two.

Soon after, the judge instructed the jurors to keep deliberating.

Jurors wrote to the judge on Tuesday saying they had gone through evidence in “granular” detail, but could not agree on a verdict on any count.

After the trial, the jury foreman, Richard Nardini, said 10 members had been convinced of Mr. Shea’s guilt. One had not made any decision, Mr. Nardini added, and the 12th insisted that prosecutors had not proven their case, while raising topics unrelated to the evidence. That juror had dozed off during deliberations and the presentation of evidence, said several fellow jurors.

Another juror, Racquel Henry, said that the 12th juror had suggested that Mr. Trump had provided money to the wall fund. A third, Lauren Reyes, said trying to communicate with the man was “incredibly frustrating,” adding: “It was like talking to a wall.”

The 12th juror, who declined to give his name, said that he had harbored reasonable doubts, and would not say whether he had slept.

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