April 16, 2012
A jury has deadlocked on some counts against Joshua Carrier, a judge informed attorneys Monday — raising the prospect that Carrier’s more than monthlong sex-assault trial will not fully resolve the allegations against him.
After signs of trouble surfaced on Friday, a juror Monday asked for the court’s instruction on what happens if the jury has reached a unanimous verdict on some counts and is unable to reach an accord on others.
“I don’t think they meant it as a hypothetical,” Fourth Judicial District Judge David A. Gilbert told the courtroom.
Judge Gilbert read a special instruction encouraging the jury to continue deliberations — while advising potential hold-outs that it’s unnecessary to surrender their “honest conviction” to reach a verdict.
The instruction is a modified version of the so-called dynamite instruction, designed to blow up sources of deadlock.
If the jury fails to agree on some counts, prosecutors would have the option of re-trying them in front of a new jury. Any unanimous decisions of the jury would stand, however, whether they are convictions or acquittals.
The jury of eight women and four men heard approximately three weeks of testimony. They began deliberating on April 10.
The first sign of trouble from the Carrier jury came Friday morning, when a juror asked “What do we do if a juror says, ‘I quit?’”
Afterward, the judge sent an instruction encouraging them to continue in hopes they would resolve any disputes.
Carrier, 31, is accused of sexually molesting 22 adolescent boys while working as a volunteer wrestling coach at Horace Mann Middle School in Colorado Springs during the 2010-2011 school year. Police say he also kept a collection of child pornography on his laptop and in the bedroom of his El Paso County home.
The six-year Colorado Springs police veteran resigned last July as officials were in the middle of an administrative process to fire him.
Deliberations will continue at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.