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Journalist Privilege Bill - SB 604

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November 19, 2007, 10:46
Journalist Privilege Bill - SB 604
Is it a violation of the jury instructions to call your office and give them an estimate of when you might be back? Sounds to me like this guy didn't give any information about the case other than to say he might be back to work in the morning.

[This message was edited by WHM on 11-19-07 at .]
November 19, 2007, 14:06
Shannon Edmonds
After a reader asked REFster which way his or her boss might lean on the verdict, REFster responded, "He is playing it very close to the vest. I'm sorry to say at this point, I got nada."

November 19, 2007, 14:14
Jury resumes hearing punishment testimony

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

The judge in the David Mark Temple case ruled this morning there was no juror misconduct after hearing testimony from a Houston Chronicle reader who suggested on the newspaper's Web site last week that a juror inappropriately spoke with people outside the jury room about ongoing deliberations.

The reader, Robert Fleming, used the screen name "REFster" to post a remark in the "reader comments" section on the Chronicle's Web page about 9 a.m. Thursday, seven hours before the jury returned its guilty verdict in the former high school football coach's murder trial.

"Psst... My boss is on the jury. Thinks they'll have a verdict this afternoon," Fleming wrote using the pseudonym.

Jurors are forbidden from discussing the case with anyone outside the jury room while the trial is still in progress. Attorneys for Temple on Friday issued a subpoena to the Houston Chronicle seeking information that would help them identify the reader. But Robert Fleming came forward on his own.

Fleming, who works at CenterPoint Energy, said in testimony this morning that his boss did not say he was on the jury or discuss anything about jury deliberations. He said he surmised through the time his boss was out of the office that he was serving on the jury for the Temple trial.

Fleming's boss is the jury foreman.

Fleming said he stopped by his boss' office between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. last Thursday.

"I asked him how long he would be going through the deliberations," he said.

His boss told him the jury could be through that day, he said, although he did not specifically reference the Temple trial.

That was their only conversation about the trial, Fleming said, and he and his boss did not discuss anything more.

His comment on was based on his assumptions, he said.

"Those are just my words and my opinion based on that brief conversation," he said. "I had absolutely no feedback from (my boss) and did not seek any."

In the sentencing phase of the trial this morning, prosecution witnesses testified that Temple had a bad reputation in the Katy community. Witnesses included a high school girlfriend, a cousin and the chief of the Katy police department, Robert Frazier.

"He's had a bad reputation for a long time, to be honest," said Frazier, who has been police chief there for 12 years.