Greenfield juror skips deliberations, heads to Cancun
Tom Murray reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- It's hard to argue that sun and white sandy beaches are more alluring than a jury box in the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility. But, a Greenfield woman may regret skipping her courtroom responsibilities to head out of town.
Ivana Samardzic was one of twelve jurors deciding the felony shooting trial of Spartacus Outlaw last week.
"Juror number four, she indicated she was in Chicago, boarding a flight to Cancun and she wasn't coming back," defense attorney Robert D'Arruda told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "She not only jeopardized my client's right to a fair trial, the state's right to a fair trial, but what about the other eleven jurors who devoted three or four days of their time to hear this case and then she just walks off."
Instead of showing up for an additional day of deliberations, the woman called Jury Management Services to say she was on her way to Mexico. She said she left her guilty or not guilty vote with the jury foreperson.
Jurors can postpone their duty for just about any reason, but it requires advance notice. Judge J.D. Watts wants Samardzic back in his courtroom next week, but this time she is the one who could face punishment.
"You face the possibility of jail or some other things when you're found in contempt," said Clerk of Circuit Courts John Barrett.
Both sides agreed to proceed with eleven jurors. The remaining jury members split on one of the two counts in the case, so it ended with a mistrial. It likely would have been the same outcome even if the runaway juror had stayed until the end.