Judge dismisses alternate juror, rules on evidence playback

The judge in the Marcus Wesson case dismissed an alternate juror for hardship on Wednesday.

Fresno County Superior Court judge R.L Putnam told the jury deciding Marcus Wesson’s fate that alternate juror number one was dismissed before telling them court would be dark on Thursday and Friday, and reminding them not to mention the case during the weekend.

The alternate juror previously told the court during jury selection that she had a pre-paid vacation planned in June. Because the trial has continued into June, the juror was dismissed.

The judge now has three alternate jurors to choose from, if a member of the jury has to be excused for some reason.

There was another hearing Wednesday morning. This time, the hearing was over how the jury is listening to a digital audio recording made by a family friend, Louie Garcia. It captures the moments of the custody battle inside the Wesson home on the day of the nine murders.

Elizabeth Wesson showed up to the courthouse, one day after she was officially released from appearing again by judge R.L. Putnam.

This time, she went on her own, saying she wanted to stay close in case a verdict came down at any moment.

Meantime, Marcus Wesson was inside the courtroom for another hearing. This time, the judge discussed the laptop being used to play the CD, which has the recording from Louie Garcia.

The judge asked the attorneys if an alternate machine could be used that could lock down, so the jurors could listen to the recording by themselves, without a computer technician.

But, prosecutor Lisa Gamoian expressed concern that it is not the same exact machine used to play the recording previously in court.

In the end, the judge conceded and the jury must listen to the recording on the original machine.

Tuesday, jurors requested headphones to listen to the recording. The judge denied that request.

The court is making sure the recording is not enhanced in any way during jury deliberations.

Wesson is charged with killing nine of his children, some of them children he had with his own daughters and nieces. He’s also charged with sexually abusing them while they were under 14.

He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he could get the death penalty.

Deliberations will continue on Monday.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday June 9, 2005.
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