Juror under investigation for friending, chatting with defendant - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Juror under investigation for friending, chatting with defendant on Facebook

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Anyone charged with a crime is entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers, not by a jury of their new Facebook friends.

A recent case that is now under investigation has some at 201 Poplar ready to click "unlike."

Marvin Ballin has been practicing law for five decades in Memphis, but the case of the "Facebooking Juror" is a new one to him.

"I've had a couple cases since where I've asked the judge to tell them, 'do not use your cell phones,'" Ballin said. "That's a no-no."

Out on bond, Markelvius Moore was on trial for aggravated robbery when he got a Facebook friend request from a woman sitting on his jury, who then struck up a conversation with him via social media.

Court personnel did not discover the communication until after the verdict, which was a unanimous guilty verdict.

Multiple sources identify the juror as a school teacher. Witnesses say she was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom, but she was not booked into jail or charged with a crime.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office sent a written statement from the county attorney's office. It read, "This matter is under investigation and no information may be released at this time."

Judge James Beasley presided over the case. He declined comment because Moore has yet to be sentenced.

By phone, Moore's attorney, Ed Lenow, said he is still investigating the matter, "It's crazy. I've never had that in 47 years."

"Of all the stories I tell about being down here, I've never heard anybody have a case like that," Ballin added.

Moore is scheduled to be back in court on August 14, at which time the judge will hear arguments over sentencing and any potential motions for a new trial.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

  • Seen on 19Seen on 19More>>

  • Powerball jackpot up to $535M, drawing Saturday

    Powerball jackpot up to $535M, drawing Saturday

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:00 AM EDT2017-08-17 14:00:30 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 2:46 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:46:47 GMT
    (Source: WOIO)(Source: WOIO)

    No one matched the winning Powerball numbers on Wednesday August 16, 2017, increasing the next jackpot to $535 million for Saturday night's drawing.

    More >>

    No one matched the winning Powerball numbers on Wednesday August 16, 2017, increasing the next jackpot to $535 million for Saturday night's drawing.

    More >>
  • LOOK HERE: 2017-18 School start dates

    LOOK HERE: 2017-18 School start dates

    Friday, August 18 2017 2:43 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:43:41 GMT
    First day of school for students in NE Ohio. (Source: WOIO)First day of school for students in NE Ohio. (Source: WOIO)

    Summer is wrapping up and students all across the country and in northeast Ohio are headed back to school.  

    More >>

    Summer is wrapping up and students all across the country and in northeast Ohio are headed back to school.  

    More >>
  • Hopkins passenger reunited with valuable ring, thanks to TSA

    Hopkins passenger reunited with valuable ring, thanks to TSA

    Friday, August 18 2017 10:37 AM EDT2017-08-18 14:37:36 GMT
    Marijke Dauwen, who wears her deceased brother’s class ring as a tribute to him, was passing through a TSA security checkpoint at Hopkins in July when another passenger inadvertently picked up the ring. (Source: TSA)Marijke Dauwen, who wears her deceased brother’s class ring as a tribute to him, was passing through a TSA security checkpoint at Hopkins in July when another passenger inadvertently picked up the ring. (Source: TSA)

    A Transportation Security Administration Officer helped reunite a passenger traveling through Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with a valuable ring she misplaced at the airport last month.  

    More >>

    A Transportation Security Administration Officer helped reunite a passenger traveling through Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with a valuable ring she misplaced at the airport last month.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly