Dollar Bill, a regular contributor, is fond of saying it is all about money. In one case, it was in fact all about money. In Hagerstown, Maryland, Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense a mistrial when Moses M. Streete, accused of armed robbery, was found guilty in large part because the jury found a wad of cash in his coat during the trial. $1,300, a rubber glove and a bandage apparently went unnoticed by police, prosecutors and the defense until jurors examined the coat during deliberations in October.
Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense motion Wednesday for a new trial in Frederick at what was to have been Moses M. Streete's sentencing hearing. She ordered Streete held without bail. "You would think with all the law enforcement people that had been involved with the case that everything would have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb - and then that fine-toothed comb would have had another fine-toothed comb going over it," said juror Christine Bowersox.
Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Kemp apparently did not do a thorough enough job when she checked the coat pockets before the trial. Defense attorney Scott L. Rolle said he had not gone through the pockets. (How unlikely is it for any attorney to not sniff out the money in any case?)
In an unrelated case, a jury will decide who the owner of $182,000 in cash found by Bob Kitts, a contractor remodeling a bathroom. The cash is rare Depression-era U.S. currency. Kitts is suing to force the homeowner to give his at least share of the money. 83 year old Amanda Reece, a class mate of Kitts apparently thinks all the money should be hers. The currency, issued in 1927 and 1929, may be worth as much as $500,000, to collectors.
Think you may be a juror ready to decide the fate of such cases? Not so fast, R.K. of Naperville warns. The FBI has warned of a scam involving a person claiming to be a "jury coordinator." If you say you never received a summons for jury duty, the caller asks for your social security number and date of birth so he can verify the information and cancel any warrant. Once you give this information, your identification is stolen! The scam has been carried out in several states. Never give this information over the phone. Contact your local court directly to verify any jury duty!
For more information, see: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june06/jury_scams060206.htm or http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp