Jurors outraged over high court decision to overturn murder conviction

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on June 13, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 14 at 10:58 AM

It was a stunning piece of videotape that lead to the quick conviction of the gunman, 21 year old Kevin Monday, in a 2006 triple shooting in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.

“Every time they said we're going to watch it again my stomach flopped. Because it took one viewing of it for me,” says Teresa Potts, the jury’s forewoman for the trial. She says the video that they watched dozens of times sealed the defendant's fate. It took the jury just over an hour to convict.
 
“We had one vote in that room that was it,” says Potts.
 
But now the conviction has been overturned by the state Supreme Court, who ruled King County deputy prosecutor James Konat made racist comments to the jury.
 
"I think the deputy prosecutor was trying to help the jury sort out what they had just seen, but in doing it he broke the rules saying some things he shouldn't have said,” Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg told KING 5 last week.
 
Konat told the jury, "The code is black folk don't testify against black folk." He also referred to the police as the "po-leese."
 
Potts says the jury never mentioned Konat's comments and that the words were never a factor in their deliberations.
 
“I felt he gave a fantastic, very compelling presentation,” says Potts. “Personally I look at that as part of the courtroom theatrics.”
 
Now she feels like their work was wasted.
 
“I'm pretty angry, I really am,” says Potts. “I think we all did a good job in the jury room. That was 5 weeks of time. What gets lost in this whole thing is that poor victim and his family. They're going to have to go through it again.”

Potts was reluctant to speak out because of the defendant's known gang affiliations. But she's not the only one to come forward. KING 5 has learned another juror wrote Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers, strongly criticizing their decision.
 

 

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