Jury testimonies reveal problems in Martinson trial - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Jury testimonies reveal problems in Martinson trial

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Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 3:21 pm

Jury members took the stand Tuesday during a post-trial hearing for the first-degree murder trial of Jeffrey Martinson, and revealed some confusion among jury members over the judge's instructions and advice from the jury foreman.

Martinson has been on trial since late July for the murder of his 5-year-old son, Joshua Eberle-Martinson, in his Ahwatukee Foothills apartment in August of 2004.

Martinson was convicted in November, but now the jury is taking the witness stand to reveal what went on during deliberations that led them to be a hung jury during the penalty phase of the trial.

Judge Sally Duncan questioned jurors one at a time on Tuesday and asked if they had a chance to see all the evidence they felt was necessary to see during deliberations, if they had enough time during deliberations, if anyone interfered with their ability to see evidence or have necessary time, if they had an opportunity to write down questions they needed to ask, and if they had discussed the trial with anyone, including other jury members, outside of deliberations.

According to testimony, the jury foreman yelled at one of the jurors, No. 12, when she tried to speak up and told her she had no right to speak and had to vote the way she wanted because Juror 12 had been sleeping during the trial.

Jury members say the foreman later apologized, but that it may have affected how talkative Juror 12 was during deliberations.

Another juror said she wanted to submit a specific question to the judge, but that the foreman rewrote the question before submitting it and when the answer was still unclear the foreman told her it meant she had to vote guilty.

When asked why she didn't ask further questions, the juror said she trusted the foreman's experience in the legal system because she had been a paralegal and worked for the Supreme Court.

Some jury members testified that the foreman also denied other jury members of seeing specific evidence because it "wasn't relevant" to what they were discussing.

The jurors testified they may have been talking about the case at lunch or in the jury room. Jurors 1, 2 and 6 said comments were made during lunch or right after testimony about the trial taking a long time, or the credibility of witnesses.

The testimonies come after Martinson's defense team made a motion for mistrial. The state has a standing objection to holding the hearing, but the judge has overruled that objection.

The hearing is expected to last through Monday.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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