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Sunday, April 12, 2009


A second jury has deadlocked and failed to convict a client of Roger C. Wilson of criminal charges relating to alleged driving under the influence of alcohol in a second trial in Coweta County, Georgia State Court.  Wilson defended the same client in a previous trial for the same charges in the same court.  In that earlier trial the jury also deadlocked and failed to convict the client of the charges.  It was discovered that the earlier jury was deadlocked 4 to 2 to acquit when a mistrial finally was declared.  Notwithstanding that, the Coweta prosecutors chose to re-try the case.  It was in that re-trial, also tried by Roger C. Wilson that the second jury ended up deadlocked and thus also failed to convict the Wilson client on the same charges.

The case involved a single-vehicle accident in the late hours of the night.  Allegedly the client was tested and determined to have a blood/alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit.  The client also allegedly made incriminating statements to the investigating police officers shortly after the crash.  However, during extensive pretrial investigation by the defense, it was discovered that multiple critical items of evidence had been destroyed or lost by the police authorities involved, including all audio and video recordings of the investigation and interrogation of the client made by those authorities from multiple recording sources:  on the front of the police car, inside the car, and on the investigating officer himself.

Based on that destruction or loss of evidence by the State, Wilson sought to have excluded at trial any testimony by the police officer regarding allegedly incriminating statements by the client (because the police had destroyed all evidence by which the allegations concerning such statements could be confirmed).  However, the judge refused those requests, leaving only the possibility of  arguing to the jury regarding the unfairness of these circumstances.

Additionally, on cross-examination at trial it was established, and finally admitted by the police witness, that the written reports of the investigation contained several false statements, including regarding the identification of the defendant client.  The defense also obtained and presented to both juries important information from a witness who had arrived at the scene of the crash before police did, and from whom trial testimony was obtained that significantly supported the defense in the case.

Post-trial interviews with jurors suggested that these circumstances played a significant part in their refusal to convict the client in either of the two trials.