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The verdict in the case against the three officials at Douglas Development Corp. came back Oct. 26 after just two days of deliberation. But the speed of the jury’s response was not quite as clear during the first morning of jury discussions. According to a transcript of the Oct. 24 proceedings, around 11 a.m. the juror from seat #2 — as this person was identified in the transcript — approached the courtroom deputy “teary eyed” and “revealed at that point that he has a severe problem with writing and reading,” Judge Ricardo Urbina explained to the attorneys. The parties agreed to further consultation, and Urbina took the juror back into his chambers. Though the juror told Urbina he did know how to read and write, he raised another concern. “It’s just sometimes stress itself,” the juror said. “You know, just six weeks of listening and then you have to go in and decide. It all deals with individuals.” The juror then said he thought he could continue with deliberations, noting that he’d sat on two juries before. Attorneys on both sides of the case decided to excuse him. “I think you all made a right decision,” he told them afterwards. Two days later, the jury acquitted all three defendants on the bribery and conspiracy charges, but found Douglas Jemal and Blake Esherick guilty of one count of wire fraud. Esherick was also found guilty of two counts of tax fraud.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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