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Lawyers Seek New Trial After Jury Tweets

| 15 Mar 2009 22:11
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Desperate attorneys are attempting to get a new trial for their client after it was revealed that one of the jurors was using Twitter from inside the courtroom.

The federal trial of Russell Wright and his company Stoam Holdings, accused of engaging in a Ponzi scheme to con investors out of cash, has become derailed thanks to Twitter.

Juror Johnathan Powell sent eight messages out from the courtroom and now lawyers for Stoam Holdings are seeking to overturn the guilty vote handed out, forcing the company to pay $12 million, saying that Powell was "predisposed toward giving a verdict that would impress his audience."

The messages included "I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money," and a message that listed the company's web address and said, "oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter."

Greg Brown, attorney for one of the defendants in the trial, said he doubts a new trial will be granted. Arkansas law requires defendants to prove that outside information entered the jury room and corrupted a verdict - not that information from the jury room made its way out, he said.

Powell is astounded that his posts have garnered so much attention saying: "I'm kind of surprised so many people have contacted me," and went on to say that Wright and his attorneys were "just grasping at straws at this point".

Source: The Telegraph

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