Inmate Charged for Attempting to Sway Juror
A prison inmate who serving time for attempted criminal homicide and witness tampering charges made a gutsy albeit unwise move that most likely lengthened his sentence. A July 15 Centre Daily News story reported that in 2009, the inmate shot at a vehicle driven by a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend, wounding the man. The inmate then tried to bribe his es-girlfriend while he was in jail and called her repeatedly from jail after she had testified against him.
While awaiting trial for his previous charges, the inmate asked a fellow inmate to contact one of the jurors selected for his trial and try to influence the juror in his favor. He gave the fellow inmate a handwritten note to give to the juror. The note contained contact information for the inmate’s father, whom the fellow inmate was to call once he delivered the note to the juror.
The fellow inmate, who was due to be soon released, informed police. Officers then listened to taped phone conversations between the inmate and his father. A trooper posed as the inmate and called the inmate’s father. He told the father that he contacted the juror and that the juror was willing to be influenced for money. The inmate’s father then visited the inmate to discuss the arrangement, all while being observed by the police, who also recorded their conversation. The inmate was later charged with two felony counts of criminal conspiracy, one felony county of aggravated jury tampering and two misdemeanor counts of criminal solicitation.
Criminal solicitation is a serious crime in every state. In Colorado, it carries a jail term of 6 months to 10 years depending on the nature of the subsequent crime. The best a defendant can hope for in a case like this is that the Colorado defense attorney he hired to represent him can get him the lightest sentence possible.