Leonard case ends in mistrial – New Jersey News

Leonard case ends in mistrial – New Jersey News


TRENTON >> The trial of Maurice Leonard ended in a mistrial on Friday.

Jurors deliberated for three days to determine whether Leonard was guilty of committing a November 2012 armed robbery the Caribbean Mart deli on the 1700 block of East State Street in Hamilton and not one of the three robbers.

Jurors worked to find common ground in their deliberations, but in the end defense attorney Peter Abatemarco made application for a mistrial after some contention surrounding the verdict sheet issued to the jury.

The sheet contained an error that was apparently overlooked by the prosecution, defense and the Judge. Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Matos made arguments that the jury should be issued a new verdict sheet now that the error had been identified.


Advertisement

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Darlene Pereksta expressed concern that the jury would have to be re-charged and given the verdict sheet. Her concern was that giving the jury a new verdict sheet after several days of deliberation might be seen by the jurors as a push in a particular direction.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Pereksta ruled she would not allow for a corrected verdict sheet to be issued to the jury.

Matos requested that the jury be polled as to their availability so that he may file an emergent appeal in order to issue the new verdict sheet. Pereksta denied the request.

It was proposed that a split verdict would be an option, which Matos objected to. The application for the mistrial by Abatemarco won the day and Leonard walked out of court knowing a new trial date was looming….

click here to read more.

Share this post

Post Comment