By Lindy Thackston
First Coast News
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL -- Justin Barber's defense team has filed a motion for a new trial and to interview the jurors.
It stems from a piece of body armor that Barber allegedly bought on E-bay and was wearing the night of the murder. The body armor was never brought up in court.
Barber's attorney says it was ruled out as being relevant to the case. Barber's attorney says the original prosecutor talked about it on live television, and that may be reason for a new trial.
The original prosecutor on the case went on Court TV. Barber's attorney says she talked about evidence not admitted into the trial, and that may have led jurors to find his client guilty.
Trial lawyer Roger Dodd of Spohrer Wilner Law Firm was also an analyst on Court TV.
"I cannot imagine releasing inside information, period," said Dodd. "But then to release it in the middle of the trial, while the trial's going on, I was stunned."
Dodd says the motion to interview jurors one on one makes perfect sense. The jurors were told to not watch TV during the trial and were sequestered for deliberations. But Dodd says that doesn't mean a thing.
"I believe most jurors follow those instructions. I think they all want to, it's just very hard nowadays not to either hear something, or see something, or have someone else come up to you and say (something)," said Dodd.
Maureen Christine, the original prosecutor in the Barber case, tells First Coast News she only said what is public record. The defense's motion claims otherwise.
"You wouldn't do it in any trial, you damn sure wouldn't do it in a death penalty case," said Dodd. "There's too much at stake."
Dodd says motions to interview jurors are not common. Dodd says it's also not common for someone who has so-called inside scoop to talk about it.
Meanwhile, the judge is deciding Barber's sentence. The jury recommended the death penalty.
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First Coast News