PHOENIX — A juror in the retrial of a man charged in the 1991 killings of
nine people at a suburban Phoenix Buddhist temple was dismissed Wednesday after
saying the process was too emotional.
The female juror refused to continue when the panel arrived Wednesday morning.
Deliberations were halted. The juror told the court she was emotionally worn
“I’m about to that point where it’s hard to go back in,” the juror said.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Kreamer dismissed the woman after
an afternoon hearing in front of defense attorneys and prosecutors. He said the
juror’s situation would be the same, regardless what side of the issue she was
Two alternate jurors are being brought in Thursday morning, in case one of them
cannot commit to the trial. If neither of them is able to serve, then a mistrial
could be declared, Kreamer said
“I’m loath to dismiss a juror in day six of deliberations,” Kreamer said.
“But she was not able to get herself in the room this morning. I don’t think
she’s got a clear head.”
Defense attorneys representing Johnathan A. Doody, who was in the courtroom,
objected to the juror’s dismissal.
“The judge made his decision and I respect that,” defense lawyer Maria
A second juror also requested to speak with the judge. The woman told Kreamer
her views were being challenged by a few jurors. However, she confirmed to
Kreamer it would be helpful if he instructed the other jurors to be respectful
and fair to the entire group.
Doody was 17 when he was accused of participating in the slayings of six monks,
a nun and two helpers during a robbery. He was convicted in 1993 and sentenced
to 281 years in prison.
Doody, now 39, is being retried after a federal appeals court overturned his
conviction in 2011, noting that he wasn’t properly read his rights.
Another man, Allesandro “Alex” Garcia, pleaded guilty in the killings and was
sentenced to life in prison in exchange for his testimony against Doody and a
promise that prosecutors wouldn’t seek the death penalty against him.
Garcia said he and Doody, who was born in Thailand, wanted to steal large
amounts of gold and cash that they believed to be kept by the monks. Authorities
said the robbers ransacked the temple’s living quarters and made away with about
$2,600 in cash, cameras and other valuables.
Jurors got the case on Sept. 24.
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