Juror removed in Calif. corruption trial

March 1, 2013 at 3:42 PM
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LOS ANGELES, March 1 (UPI) -- A judge in Los Angeles told the jury in the case of six former Bell, Calif., council members to begin fresh deliberations after one juror was removed.

The juror, identified only as Juror No. 3, admitted Thursday she had gotten information from outside sources, looking up legal information on the Internet and asking her daughter about the term "coercion," the Los Angeles Times reported. She tearfully told Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy she felt other jurors were putting pressure on her and wept as she left the courtroom.

The council members were charged after the Times reported in 2010 that officials in Bell, a small city in Los Angeles County, were getting higher salaries than their counterparts in cities like New York and Chicago. The city manager was being paid close to $800,000, twice what the president of the United States earns.

By Thursday, the jury had been deliberating for five days and had already told the judge they were deadlocked. Kennedy got two notes Thursday, one reporting a deadlock and another from a single juror to say that Juror No. 3 had talked to a lawyer. While that allegation appears unfounded, the juror did admit to using the Internet and talking to her daughter about deliberations.

She hinted at which way she was voting before Kennedy cut her off: "How long do I have to stay in there and deliberate with them when I have made my decision that I didn't think there was --"

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