The juror whose refusal to vote for a first-degree murder finding that led to Edward Deli's conviction on a lesser homicide count says he has no regrets.
KTVX reported Thursday night that the juror, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the prosecution failed to produce enough evidence to support a first-degree murder verdict in the December cabin slayings of Kaye Tiede, 49, Humble, Texas, and her mother, Beth Potts, 76, of Murray.(The juror agreed to talk to reporters only on the condition that he be allowed to review the final report before it was published. The Deseret News contacted the juror but refused to accept his conditions, which would have allowed him to censor or change any portions of a story that he might not like.)
In Utah, first-degree murder carries a penalty of life in prison or death. Second-degree murder is punishable by a sentence of five years to life.
"I wanted to give it to him, but I had a reasonable doubt, and at times I'm not the only one who did," said the juror, one of seven men on the panel.
At the end of the trial Tuesday, jury forewoman Tamara Martinez said 11 jurors favored a first-degree murder verdict but went with the lesser charge rather than risk a hung jury after deliberating 121/2 hours over two days.
The juror, who did not appear on camera, told KTVX that prosecutors failed to convince him that Deli had pulled the trigger. He also was dismayed that police officers testified they had handled Deli's weapon.
"If someone would have held up the .44 (caliber) pistol and it only had Deli's fingerprints on it, my reasonable doubt would have gone away," he said.
The juror said he had been inundated by telephone calls and visits since the trial, and he predicted his experience would have a chilling effect on other jurors.
"It's disrupted my life and my family. We're taught to stand by our conviction, and I did just that," he said.
In addition to second-degree murder, Deli also was convicted of kidnapping, theft, aggravated arson and aggravated robbery. He is to be sentenced June 3.