Josh Carrier Not Convicted On Most Serious Charges
Updated On: Apr 18 2012 03:41:25 AM CDT
After six days of deliberations, a jury in the child sex abuse trial of ex-police officer Joshua Carrier did not convict him on any of the most serious charges he was facing.
The jury found Carrier guilty on 21 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, but acquitted him or could not reach a verdict on any of the charges that he molested 22 boys from Horace Mann Middle School. Carrier was acquitted of more than 30 counts, and the jury could not agree on 150 counts.
One juror cried as the verdicts were read.
4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May said he plans to re-try Carrier on all the counts the jury could not reach a verdict on.
Initially, when Judge David Gilbert read the jury's verdict forms, he said jurors had found Carrier guilty on one count of unlawful sexual contact on a child. But when he polled the jurors on whether that was in fact their verdict, one juror stunned the courtroom when she said it was not.
"It's not now," she said, when Gilbert asked if 'guilty' was her verdict.
The courtroom began buzzing at her response, and Gilbert sent the jurors back into deliberations on that single count. The jury returned less than 10 minutes later and said they could not agree on a verdict.
Jurors looked stone-faced and some teary-eyed as they were released from service.
The jury foreman, Julia, who didn't want to give her last name, said the trial was the most emotional time of her life.
"It was extremely difficult, it was frustrating, it was tiring, it was emotional and I'm ready to be done," she said.
Julia said that there were two people on the jury who tended not to agree with the others about convicting Carrier of the child sex abuse charges.
After the jury's decisions were announced, prosecutor Amy Fitch asked that Carrier's bond be revoked. Alleged victims' parents had a chance to address the court.
"This is my son's worst nightmare," said one dad.
Judge Gilbert ultimately decided to revoke Carrier's bond, and Carrier was led away in handcuffs.
"Josh was very disappointed by the verdicts of guilty, he was very pleased with the acquittal counts and displeased the judge decided to take him into custody," said Carrier's attorney, Chris Decker.
Neither the defense nor the prosecution claimed victory based on the jury's findings. Both sides praised jurors for their work.
"I appreciate the time the jurors took," said May. "They worked on the case for many, many days. By the questions we saw, we saw it was very excruciating for some of them."
"For anyone who was in the courtroom, it was pretty clear this was a heartfelt series of verdicts," said Decker. "The jurors were emotional, they've been through a great deal, they've worked through hundreds of counts with great focus and great stamina."
A new trial date will be set in early May. It's expected to take four to six weeks, just as this trial did.
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