03/07/04 — Man gets prison term for jury tampering

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Man gets prison term for jury tampering

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 7, 2004 2:02 AM

A Goldsboro man who had asked a juror for help during a break in his trial has been sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison for jury tampering.

After a mistrial was declared, Amos Taylor III, 41, of Olivia Lane decided to forgo a second trial in Wayne County Superior Court and pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to jury tampering and two felony drug offenses.

The tampering charge stemmed from an incident on Feb. 24 during the lunch recess at his trial. Janet Miller, seated in a parked car near the courthouse, allegedly asked a young female juror "to help us out."

When the juror glanced in the car, she told court officials, she also saw Taylor behind the wheel.

The juror reported the incident to court officials, and Judge Ernest Fullwood of Wilmington was notified during the recess. The juror said the incident would not affect her judgment. Fullwood, however, declared a mistrial because another juror had been excused due to a fall on the courthouse steps, and only one alternate had been selected.

Turner also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of keeping and selling cocaine.

Judge Jerry Braswell of Goldsboro sentenced Turner to 10 to 12 months for possession and eight to 10 months for the maintaining a dwelling charge. He ordered the sentences to be served at the same time.

In the meantime, Ms. Miller, 45, of Royall Avenue, is serving a 30-day sentence, imposed by Judge Fullwood, for contempt of court.