Wagoner County Mistrial Highlights Vital Job Of Jury Duty
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Wagoner County trial will start completely over after the judge declared a mistrial.
Sources tell News On 6 the jurors were discussing the case; it's a headache that will cost taxpayers more money and time.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler weighed in on the situation, saying jurors have one of the most important jobs in the courtroom.
"The jurors' job is every bit as important as the judge or the attorneys in the courtroom," Kunzweiler said.
Former juror Patrick Williams understands better than most just how tough it can be to stay silent when serving during a murder trial.
"It was one of the most challenging things I've ever had to do...keep my mouth shut," he said.
Williams served as a juror during 2018's Stanley Majors trial.
"I hope I never have to do it again," he said.
Majors was sentenced to life without parole for shooting and killing his next door neighbor Khalid Jabara.
"You would hear things in the courtroom and you would think, 'Oh my gosh, is this guy serious?'" Williams said. "And you're just dying to let it out."
But jurors are constantly reminded throughout trials that discussing the case with anyone--including other jurors--is out of the question.
Cody Thompson's murder trial in Wagoner County was declared a mistrial just this week, because of outside discussion between the jurors, sources say.
"Sometimes it's very intentional," Kunzweiler said. "And other times it's inadvertent. But they just can't resist the idea of talking about what they're experiencing."
The jury was days away from decided whether or not he was guilty of shooting 15-year-old Brennon Davis, and then burning his body.
Now, 12 new jurors will have to be brought in, starting back at square one.
Thompson will be back in court to start the process all over again in May.