A report from a Cobb County jury

AJC file/Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com
AJC file/Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Jim Galloway

Credit: Jim Galloway

You'll have to pardon the reduction of posts lately. I've spent the last few days in Cobb County state court in front of Judge Jason Fincher, a good fellow. Never fear -- I was on the jury. First time in a couple decades, I think.

The case was a DUI that had lingered since September 2014. The young lady had wrecked on a railroad track, admitted to being the driver when cops found her wandering in the area at 6 a.m., then blew twice the legal limit an hour or so later.

Come the trial, a boyfriend appeared who said he was the driver. Seems as if he had wandered away after the accident, to see a man about some money. He’d left his girlfriend in the dark next to a wrecked car and didn’t see her again for three weeks. We did not believe him.

Good lawyers at work are always worth watching. Matt Hurst was the prosecutor. The defendant had Sylvia Goldman, who I’d be willing to hire in times of trouble. But she had little to work with. We did not buy her chief argument – that her client was so drunk in the video caught by the patrol car that any confessions of being behind the wheel shouldn’t be believed.

We convicted the young lady, of course.

I had ruled out writing about this two-and-a-half day exercise, but two things changed my mind. We were a small jury – there were just six of us. But one of us was from Gambia, another from Sierra Leone, and a third from Puerto Rico. You don’t think of Cobb County being so diverse, but Solicitor Barry Morgan assured me that this is now quite the norm for jury pools.

Then there was the surprise. During our deliberations, we had wondered why such a cut-and-dry case hadn’t been settled. After we were dismissed, we were let in on the small secret that had been purposely kept from us.

Eight months after our defendant had wrecked her car, while she was out on bond, she allegedly shot and killed another boyfriend and was charged with murder.

Come to think of it, the fellow who had attempted to take the rap for her did look a little green around the gills.

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