Fresh details of bitter Denny jury talks released



LOS ANGELES (AP)—Fresh details of bitter jury talks in the Reginald Denny beating trial emerged Tuesday as transcripts of juror proceedings were released. One juror accused another of being too stupid to reach a verdict.

Documents from the closed court proceedings also showed that another juror, a black man, was dismissed after accusations that he boasted to acquaintances, ‘‘We got Williams,’‘ kept a file of newspaper clippings about the case and discussed writing a book about his experiences.

The accusation against the juror was brought by Don Jackson, a spokesman for the family of defendant Damian Williams, who told defense attorney Edi Faal that he had interviewed several people who said they discussed the case with the juror.

Williams and Henry Watson, who are black, were acquitted on the most serious charges of attempted murder in the attack on Denny, who is white, and others during the start of last year’s riots.

The juror denied talking or reading about the case, but Superior Court Judge John Ouderkirk dismissed him anyway. The man was relocated later at the court’s expense after he received death threats, the transcripts reveal.

Ouderkirk also released a note to the judge in which a white male juror said a black female colleague lacked the intelligence to understand the issues.

‘‘The people on the jury have to have basic intelligence and common sense. If that person doesn’t meet those requirements how can you reason with a person about the law?’‘ Juror No. 152 wrote one week into deliberations.

‘‘If that person doesn’t understand the law (which everybody else agrees on) how can that person come to conclusion of not guilty/guilty. The person has been badgered because of her stupidity,’‘ No. 152 wrote, adding that he wanted to be removed from the jury if the problem wasn’t resolved.

The woman was removed over defense objections for failing to deliberate or comprehend deliberations. In a message to the judge released earlier, the jury’s forewoman, who is black, said there was unanimous agreement among other jurors that the woman wasn’t able to deliberate.

The day after the woman was removed, Juror No. 152 was removed at his request for personal reasons that have never been revealed.

In all, five jurors were replaced by alternates during the Denny trial, including the two who left during deliberations—an unusual development. The replacements were chosen by lot. The final jury included four blacks, four Hispanics, two Asians and two whites.

Names of the witnesses and jurors were blacked out in the released transcript.