It was a difficult case, even heart-wrenching. A policeman had rushed to a low priority call and had accidentally struck and killed another San Antonio police officer. See San Antonio Express News report. The policeman in a hurry was David Seaton. Proceeding at 100 mph without lights or siren on, he ran a red light and struck another vehicle. The collision seriously imnjured the other driver and another San Antonio Police Officer, Robert Davis. Officer Davis was working an earlier auto collison. Mr. Seaton also suffered injuries in the crash.
Eventually, he was convicted of assault and manslaughter. The trial was emotional. The presiding judge described it as one of the most traumatic cases he had ever presided over. And, apparently, the jury foreperson wrote about it on her blog. The defense lawyers sought a new trial, saying Ms. Grennes had a political agenda and that she had hidden her self-employment (ie, the blog). The foreperson denied any political agenda and said her blog only gets 13 hits a day. She did not mention her self-employment and the blog because she did not think it important to jury service.
Mr. Seaton’s defense lawyers learned about the blog entry and investigated the foreperson. She said she was contacted by someone claiming to be a college student researching the trial. The forepeson, Pamela Grennes, later learned that the alleged student was a private investigator. The defense lawyers filed a motion seeking a new trial. During testimony, Ms. Grennes told the defense lawyer she deleted the posts about the trial because she felt threatened by the defense lawyers. The judge denied the motion for new trial.
Yes, blog entries do affect trial outcomes.