While I understand the financial constraints the county is under, I am still surprised this jury isn't being sequestered during deliberations. The trial is already reportedly costing $1.7 million dollars, what's a few thousand dollars more versus risking the cost of a mistrial? As we all watch and wait on verdict watch, I'm so curious as to what these jurors are discussing. Which way are they leaning? Did they take an initial vote to see how close they were to begin with? I believe their instructions are to first consider the most serious charge(s), first degree premeditated murder and first degree felony murder. If they don't agree on that, they move on to second degree murder and so on.
I found it so interesting to hear Judge Belvin Perry's interview on the Today show this morning. As you know, Judge Perry presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial. Perry said that when the verdict slip was handed to him, he had to read it twice to make sure he was reading "not guilty" correctly. He admitted to being very surprised by the jury's verdict, and he talked candidly about the two very different sides he saw of Casey Anthony. He said she was a much different person in the presence of the jury than she was without.
I thought Judge Perry did a pretty good job keeping the trial moving forward, and that was a full-fledged media circus. I haven't seen anything like for a non-celebrity trial. Oh my! Apparently at some point Anthony's attorneys wanted to discuss a plea deal to aggravated murder with her, Perry said Anthony could be heard screaming and cussing at her attorneys. Obviously there were no plea deals in that case, but that's the first I've ever heard of any potential plea deals. Many Monday morning armchair attorneys believed the State of Florida overcharged Anthony, although Perry said he believed there was sufficient evidence to convict Casey Anthony, albeit it was circumstantial.
I do not believe they overcharged Arias, in fact if there were a HIGHER charge.....another case that still haunts me is the murders of Sheri, Garrett and Gavin Coleman at the hands of husband, father and MONSTER Christopher Coleman. That trial was not televised, but after seeing the photographs of this beautiful family I felt compelled to follow the case. It was fairly obvious Christopher Coleman was the killer early on, although you never want to believe a man could murder his two young boys. His story never rang true - similar to Josh Powell's lame story about taking his young sons on an impromptu overnight camping trip in the freezing snow.
Christopher Coleman is one of the most despicable murderers in recent memory. This is a man who strangled his 31 year old wife Sheri, and then strangled his 11 and 9 year old sons as they slept in their bedrooms. What kind of father could do that to his own sons? What kind of monster wipes out his whole family, and does it by ligature strangulation? The kind of man who wants a new life with his wife's old high school friend - that's the kind of coward Christopher Coleman is. These two boys were absolutely gorgeous, and wife Sheri was a beautiful woman - inside and out. Coleman thought he was smarter than law enforcement, he plotted for several months - sending himself threatening letters via e-mail, and once the threats were reported to police he went about the business of eliminating his entire family. Coleman reportedly left his home around 6:00AM to go to the gym. When he couldn't reach wife Sheri after several attempts, he called a neighbor to go check on his family. The neighbor happened to be a member of law enforcement, and when he and other officers entered the Coleman home, they were not prepared for what they saw.
The walls inside the home had bizarre messages spray painted on them. They discovered Sheri's body first, followed by Garrett and Gavin. All three were strangled to death in their own beds. One of the boys had a spray painted message on the sheet that covered him. Coleman's grief didn't fool law enforcement. After arriving at home to a sea of police and crime scene tape, he was told his family didn't make it. He never even asked what happened to them or how they died. He was taken to the police station to give a statement, which is when an officer noticed fresh scratch marks on Coleman's arms. Sheri Coleman fought hard for her life. In addition to being strangled, she had two black eyes. The coward then took the life of each of his sons in the same manner.
|Staged crime scene - Coleman house|
The jury in that case deliberated for 15 hours over 2 days and delivered their guilty verdict on the second anniversary of the murders. Cowardly Coleman deserved the death penalty, but instead he was sentenced to life in prison by a Judge. This was due to the timing, the Governor of Illinois commuted all death sentences given before the state's execution ban kicked in on July 1, 2011 so Coleman escaped the death penalty he so richly deserved. All murders are horrific, but there are some stories that just stick with you and touch you in a way that's hard to describe. I think we all feel that way about what happened to Travis Alexander. Take a look at the beautiful family Christopher Coleman killed, I feel the same sense of tragedy for them.
|Christopher, Sheri, Gavin & Garrett Coleman|
Sorry, I didn't mean to get so far off track - back to the Arias trial. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a verdict tomorrow. There was a ton of evidence presented during the trial, hundreds of exhibits and hoards of text messages, journal entries etc. - but the jury asked Arias so many questions following her 19 days on the witness stand, I think they have a pretty good idea of what Arias is all about. I'm praying they do. I don't want to think about Jodi Arias out there in the free world ever again. She forfeited that right nearly 5 years ago. Have a great evening and pray for justice!