New York City - A mistrial was declared in the manslaughter case of Marlon Sewell on Thursday, September 28, when one juror said that she couldn't put a black man in jail.
Jurors in the case sent a note to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice.which said that Juror No. 3, who is black, had refused to consider the evidence in the case since the first day of trial, according to the New York Daily News.
Sewell's attorney formally requested the mistrial due to the 'chaos' in the jurors' deliberation room.
Juror No. 3 had expressed her reluctance to convict Sewell from the first day of trial. She said "I don’t want to put a black man in jail. That’s crazy."
Two other jurors had complained about Juror No. 3 to Justice Del Giudice, and one juror had passed out from the chaos in the deliberation room during the three days of trial.
Sewell is charged in the death of Victoria Nicodemus. He was driving on a suspended license when he apparently passed out, causing his car ot jump a curb and go into pedestrians. His vehicle struck and killed the 30-year-old art curator.
In response to the note, Justice Del Giudice said, “I feel that based on the juror misconduct during the entire proceedings we cannot go forward with deliberations and I'm going to grant the defense's application of a mistrial."
After the mistrial was declared, Juror No. 3 rushed out of the courtroom and the building, ahead of the other 11 jurors. When reporters tried to talk to her, she said, "Get away from me. Leave me alone."
After leaving the courtroom, one male juror who requested anonymity said, “From day one of the trial she made comments like that, but we thought she'd change her mind once we received all the evidence. But no, she refused to listen to anything and made comments like she wasn't paying attention to the whole trial.”
Sewell's new trial date is scheduled for November 29.