Third juror claims coercion in Tracie Hunter trial

Third juror claims coercion in Tracie Hunter trial

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - An attorney for Tracie Hunter says a third juror has come forward claiming there was coercion to convict the suspended judge.

FOX19's Gordon Graham tells us the new allegations are adding fuel to the push for a new trial.

Attorney Clyde Bennett says a third juror has come forward saying she believes Hunter is not guilty of anything, but says she felt pressured to sign the verdict.

"She stated that count number six the guilty verdict was not her true and accurate verdict and she wanted to do something to make it right."

Hunter was convicted earlier this month for unlawful interest in a public contract. The jury deadlocked on the remaining eight felony charges against her.

Bennett says he's been told that the jury room was at times a hostile environment.

"Several of the jurors that I talked to have said that they experienced a lot of tension, a lot of stress and a lot of pressure some by way of racial overtones."

Bennett says Hunter deserves a new trial.

"Based on the fact that the jury was not polled after the verdict and that's a plain fundamental constitutional error and it deprived judge Hunter
of a fair trial."

However, that's not how FOX19 NOW legal analyst Mike Allen sees it.

"The jury was polled on the one count where they found her guilty. I was in the courtroom I saw it. Judge Nadel asked is this your true and accurate verdict or language of that type and they all answered yes so you're not allowed to change your mind in a jury verdict and there has to be finality in those verdicts of every jury trial we have in this country is in jeopardy."

A hearing on the request for a new trial is scheduled for Nov. 13, but FOX19 NOW legal analyst Mike Allen says it's unlikely the request will be granted.

Allen says what is certain is that hunter will appear before Judge Nadel Dec. 2 for sentencing.   

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