Another day, another juror in the John Goodman retrial has screwed up. According to a report, a man identified as Juror 3 apparently broke court rules by accessing the internet on his laptop in the privacy of his hotel room.
This was a no-no.
The jury, which has been sequestered in an undisclosed hotel, was told by Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath not to surf the internet while participating in this trial, unless it's in front of a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy.
The rules were set so that the six people selected to be a part of the jury wouldn't be tainted by getting any outside information on Goodman or his original trial. The jury was chosen in Tampa.
The Sun Sentinel reports that the juror was found to have logged onto the internet while in his hotel room. The juror told attorneys who questioned him that he didn't check any news sites but only logged on to football websites -- Yahoo.com fantasy football and bleacherreport.com.
But the attorneys say the juror was evasive when questioned and initially refused to turn over his laptop or password. He eventually gave a deputy his password and allowed the officer to check his browser history in his presence. According to the report, the juror told the attorneys who questioned him that he was half-asleep while surfing the net and that they had nothing to worry about.
Colbath has his doubts that the juror is being completely truthful.
In another potential snag, it was also revealed that Juror 3 has a prior criminal history in New York, where he is not able to serve on a jury.
Yet, according to the report, neither the defense nor the prosecution has a problem with Juror 3's internet surfing issue or his prior record in New York. Juror 3 was allowed to stay on the jury for the retrial.
Colbath agreed to revisit the issue when the jury begins its deliberations next week.
This is the third time a juror, or potential juror, has brought on some problems to the retrial.
Two weeks ago, a potential juror, Travis Van Vliet, was arrested after he Googled "John Goodman" on his computer. Colbath had Van Vliet arrested on contempt-of-court charges, and he was eventually dismissed from serving on the jury.
Fast-forward a week later and a woman on the jury known as Juror 10 told Colbath she had been heckled by some people at the hotel's pool area who were warning her she would end up in jail like Vliet did.
According to WPBF, the woman told Colbath that a group of unknown persons spotted her.
Juror 10 claims that the next day, she saw the people again. "You'll go to jail like Van Fleet," she claims they said to her.
Van Fleet is believed to be a mispronunciation of "Van Vliet."
Colbath says there's an investigation underway to verify Juror 10's claims.
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