Juror notes in Carona trial revealed

SANTA ANA, Calif. /*Carona*/, 53, was acquitted last week of conspiracy and four other counts and convicted only of witness tampering.

"There are certain persons who slept all through the presentations, who have not written down a single word in their trial notes, but have suddenly 'come alive' and just want to acquit," juror No. 3 said in a Jan. 14 note. "Further on, there is a juror who wishes to acquit who, I believe, wants to party with Carona and his women."

"I think I may be threatened," the note continued. "There are other jurors who feel the way I do."

U.S. District Court /*Judge Andrew Guilford*/ talked to the juror and ordered him to return to deliberations after the man said he did not really feel threatened, defense attorney Brian Sun said.

Much of the trial focused on allegations Carona took bribes from a millionaire who was made an assistant sheriff. Carona's wife and a former mistress are awaiting trial on related charges.

Some jurors told reporters after the trial that they believed Carona was guilty but the statute of limitations had expired on most of the crimes.

Juror No. 3's allegations were "absolute nonsense," the jury foreman told the /*Orange County Register*/.

"I never heard of anyone wanting to party with Carona. No one wants to see Carona. He did a lot of bad things," said the foreman, who identified himself only by his first name of Surj.

Some panelists "nodded off" during proceedings but they were careful during deliberations, he said.

No. 3 leaned toward convictions and was upset because others seemed to be favoring acquittal on most counts, Surj said.

The judge also unsealed a note in which juror No. 9 asked to see him on an unspecified matter "about your jury, which I feel should be brought to your attention."

Carona will be sentenced in April. The witness tampering conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison but prosecutors say he probably will get only two or three years.



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