A Ventura County Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in a 2013 Oxnard murder case. Judge Matthew Guasco halted the trial shortly before lawyers planned to make their opening statements. Guasco determined that one of the jurors willfully disregarded jury instructions.
Lawyers selected twelve jurors and three alternates as part of their routine procedures. The judge delayed the trial because a judicial assistant received an email regarding a juror. The judge questioned the jurors individually and determined that one juror disobeyed jury instructions. The court also set a hearing on a contempt of court proceeding against the juror.
According to the public defenders in the case, the judge ordered the jurors not research the case or anyone involved in the case. He also ordered the jurors to avoid social media research as well as discussing the case with each other. A judge typically issues similar instructions in any jury trial.
The original jury selection took about a month, and must be redone with a new jury pool. The case itself will examine the prosecution’s contention that the defendant broke into an Oxnard apartment to kill someone he knew. He mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, however, and killed an individual unknown to him. The defendant faces more than 50 years to life in prison if convicted.
Oxnard Murder Attorney
Murder is the most serious charge you can face in California. Choosing the right jury members is essential. An experienced murder attorney knows who to look for on a jury panel, and how to select the right jury members.
That knowledge comes only from extensive courtroom practice, so it’s important to select an experienced attorney who will fight to put the right jury panel together for your case. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense cases exclusively. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney when your life is literally in the balance. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.
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