Darrent Williams murder trial: Could juror shenanigans mean a new trial for Willie Clark?

Darrent Williams, left, and Willie Clark, the man convicted of killing him.
Darrent Williams, left, and Willie Clark, the man convicted of killing him.

Lawyers for Willie Clark, who was convicted last month of killing Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007, are asking for a new trial. Among other violations, they say jurors discussed whether Clark was guilty before the trial was over.

Juror #34, a nineteen-year-old self-employed male, told defense investigator Greta Lindecrantz about the alleged misconduct after he was dismissed as an alternate prior to deliberations.

Watch the clip at the bottom of this post to see Juror #34 talking to the press after he was dismissed, and click here to read the motion for a new trial in its entirety.

According to an affidavit written by Lindecrantz, Juror #34 said he befriended two other jurors -- #371 and #5 -- and that they ate lunch together nearly every day during the two-week trial. He also told her that:

• On their way to lunch, they "almost always recapped what the witnesses had said in the trial and voted on whether Willie Clark was guilty or not guilty."

• One evening, they went to Juror #5's apartment in the Parkway Apartment complex near the intersection of 11th Avenue and Speer Boulevard. That complex was key to one bystander's testimony. Jason Johnson testified that soon after the drive-by shooting that killed Williams, he was on the balcony of the Parkway Apartments and saw a green SUV speeding down Speer with its lights off. Juror #34 told Lindecrantz that he and the two other jurors went onto the same balcony "to see if they could tell the colors of the cars. They could definitely tell 'white' and 'not white.'" That's significant, because prosecutors argued that Clark shot Williams from a white SUV, while Clark's lawyers argued that someone else in a green SUV could have shot him.

• The day after Juror #34 was dismissed, he went back to the courthouse to return his juror badge. While there, he texted Juror #5, who was not dismissed, to ask what was going on. "They went to the deliberating juror's home from court and stayed at that apartment for a couple of hours," Lindecrantz wrote. Juror #34 asked what was going on in deliberations and "was told that the jurors thought Willie was guilty." Then Juror #34 told Juror #5 "to stick with what he believed and to hang the jury if that was what it meant."

Juror #34 thought Clark was innocent -- or at least that's what he told reporters when he was mobbed by the media outside the courthouse after being dismissed. Asked if the other jurors felt the same way, he said he knew at least one other juror did. "I feel like some jurors shared my opinions, but not all," he said.

Clark is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 -- and Judge Christina Habas is expected to send him to prison for life. Habas is on vacation this week, so it's unclear whether this motion will affect the sentencing.

Here's the aforementioned video:

 

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