UPDATE: Decision on Mistrail in Ex-Officer's Trial to Come Friday
by Deirdre Blake
posted Jan 30 2013 5:55PM
The judge and jury reconvene on Friday morning in the case of a former Culpeper police officer convicted in the shooting death of an unarmed woman.
After the jury found Daniel Harmon- Wright guilty of voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, court officials discover two dictionaries and a thesaurus in the jury room. At least one of the dictionaries was bookmarked to a page bearing the definition of the word "murder."
The judge met with attorneys for both sides Wednesday on how to proceed. The judge also called in jurors one-by-one, to get their take on its' impact on a verdict. They say the definitions being looked up were malicious and malice.
Based on her findings, Judge Susan Whitlock could declare a mistrial in the lengthy case. If that happens, Wright would be scheduled for a new trial, likely to start sometime next summer. Otherwise, the jury will start hearing pre-sentencing proceedings at 9:30 a.m. It would make a decision on a sentence later in the day Friday. On the three counts, Wright could face up to 25 years behind bars.