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Archive for Friday, October 16, 2009

Jaeger’s attorneys call for new trial

Motion focuses on juror’s dismissal after misconduct

Matthew Jaeger addresses members of the jury as he describes the events of Oct. 9, 2007, while testifying in his defense Thursday.

Matthew Jaeger addresses members of the jury as he describes the events of Oct. 9, 2007, while testifying in his defense Thursday.

October 16, 2009

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Matthew Jaeger: Guilty Verdict

More coverage of the trial of a former Kansas University student accused of beating and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend.

Jaeger seeking new trial

Attorneys for Matthew Jaeger are seeking a new trial in the kidnapping and assault of the former KU student's ex-girlfriend. Attorneys say there was jury misconduct involved that unfairly tainted the verdict. Enlarge video

Related document

Jaeger - Motion for New Trial ( .PDF )

Attorneys for a former Kansas University student say their client deserves a new trial on kidnapping and aggravated battery charges because of juror misconduct.

But the attorneys’ argument for a new trial for Matthew P. Jaeger, 24, is complicated.

The attorneys say that because Shaun Edmondson — a juror who believed their client was innocent — was dismissed, he didn’t have the chance to sway other jurors to his way of thinking or hold onto his beliefs and create a hung jury.

“There is certainly evidence from which to conclude that the eleven had decided to shove (Edmondson) ‘out of the boat,’” defense attorney Pedro Irigonegaray wrote in his motion.

On Aug. 13, the jury convicted Jaeger of kidnapping, aggravated battery and making a criminal threat. Prosecutors said Jaeger broke into the Lawrence apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Francie Biggs, 23, on Oct. 9, 2007, and threatened Dylan Jones, the man she was with that night. Biggs spoke out after the verdict and agreed to be named by the Journal-World.

She testified that Jaeger choked her unconscious and said she awoke with injuries to her external vaginal area. The defense argued that Jaeger found Biggs injured and was trying to get her to the hospital. They said scientific evidence pointed to Biggs injuring herself with a fall onto a bed rail.

Juror misconduct

Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild dismissed Edmondson during the second day of deliberations because he re-enacted a material fact of the case. A female alternate juror took his place, and the next day jurors returned with the guilty verdicts on three counts.

In his motion for a new trial, Irigonegaray said Edmondson told fellow jurors he re-enacted Biggs’ falling onto a bed rail. He told jurors on the first day of deliberations that his test had nothing to do with his belief at the conclusion of the trial that Jaeger was not guilty on all counts.

Irigonegaray wrote that in an Aug. 19 phone conversation after the verdict Edmondson spoke with defense counsel and said he had conducted his own investigation in the evening after the first day of deliberations ended. He had also told other jurors that he was 100 percent set in his belief that Jaeger was not guilty, but the other jurors wanted to review the evidence in the case before making their own decisions.

Irigonegaray and co-counsel Michael Saken argue that Edmondson told the other jurors of his experiment during the second day of deliberations. But the presiding juror, Diane L. Miller, did not inform Fairchild that Edmondson conducted his own investigation until the third day of deliberations, suggesting “that the eleven found a way to resolve the deadlock.”

“Had he not been dismissed, Edmondson could possibly have brought his fellow members of the jury to the same conclusion or, more likely, created a hung jury,” Irigonegaray wrote. “But by virtue of his misconduct, he deprived (the) defendant of a dissenting voice in his deliberations, by giving the other jurors reason to report his misconduct and the court motive to remove him.”

In the motion, Irigonegaray also asks Fairchild to order an evidentiary hearing in the case, which would allow the defense to subpoena Edmondson to testify about the events.

Edmondson did not return a call seeking comment on Thursday. A message was not returned at a phone number listed for Miller.

Other objections

Irigonegaray also argues that Fairchild should grant a new trial because of the cumulative effect of several errors during the trial.

He said prosecutors presented insufficient evidence for Jaeger to be convicted of kidnapping and aggravated battery of Biggs and making a criminal threat against Jones.

The defense also says Fairchild did not allow the defense to question Biggs about possible drug use that night and restricted defense questions about her credibility.

Jurors were improperly allowed to hear evidence that Jaeger had previously choked Biggs during their relationship, Irigonegaray said. The defense argues the marks on her neck that night are inconsistent with a rear choke hold.

Jurors did not convict Jaeger of the more serious aggravated kidnapping charge he faced, and they also failed to reach a verdict on aggravated burglary. Jaeger is in custody in the Douglas County Jail, and he faces at least four years in prison.

Fairchild has scheduled Jaeger’s sentencing hearing for Jan. 25 and will rule on the motion for the new trial before handing down a sentence.

Comments

Bladerunner 5 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Dani Davey 5 years, 2 months ago

Before all the haters get started...guilty or not, he has every right to appeal. You would if you were in his shoes. Juries get things wrong all the time.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 2 months ago

Irigonegaray and co-counsel Michael Saken argue that Edmondson told the other jurors of his experiment during the second day of deliberations. But the presiding juror, Diane L. Miller, did not inform Fairchild that Edmondson conducted his own investigation until the third day of deliberations, suggesting “that the eleven found a way to resolve the deadlock.”

---okay, so the implication is that Pedro's appeal hinges on 2nd day vs 3rd day?

Edmundson was indeed wrong to conduct his own investigation, should have been removed anyway.
no evidence to support it, Pedro asserts a 'conspiracy' in this same quoted text, that they figured out how to resolve the problem by kicking off the juror who needed to go anyway?

"piece of crap" is actually a compliment for this one I think!

yes, this just looks like burnin' money, throwin' a major "hail Mary pass!"

indeed he has a right to appeal, but we have a right to comment on it. and, it is just lame.

go away for a long time Jaeger.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 2 months ago

So daddy's defense team contacted the dismissed juror? Is this legal?How much did they pay him to make the comment "I thought he was innocent"?

Jaegar has every right to appeal. Just like The People have every right to tell him to go f**k himself.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

He won't get a new trial. There's no real basis for it. I'm still so disappointed in Pedro in this that I can't see straight.

tanaumaga 5 years, 2 months ago

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Jessie Stoltenow 5 years, 2 months ago

Why doesn't this surprise me? I'm with everyone in saying he's a true tool!!! Man up to it, Jaeger. I just can't believe that anyone would consider a 2nd trial after what happened. And I really wanna know how much that juror was paid by rich daddy that came to the rescue!!!

cowboy 5 years, 2 months ago

seems a very weak appeal , each juror replays the evidence in their mind , this knucklehead decided to replay it physically , simple juror misconduct by a whack job . Man up Jaeger and take your punishment , four years isn't that much for your heinous crime and what would you have done if not interrupted ? And now you want to drag this victim through another trial. Pedro , how can you sleep at night ?

Practicality 5 years, 2 months ago

Is this the same Shaun Edmondson who was the Eudora Legion Baseball Coach?

threetoedsloth 5 years, 2 months ago

Cait48- Disappointed in Pedro. Really? Is this something new for you? Have you been blinded by his taking up a few worthy causes here and there that you've missed the ridiculous arguments he's made in the past for other clients like Yaeger? This is certainly nothing new for Pedro. I'll grant that he's good at what he does, but he's certainly not marked by some special sainthood.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 2 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says…Surprise, anyone?


Yes Maude, I am surprised that you didn't remind us all that you had totally predicted a mistrial and criticized the DA/AG for not proposing a plea for lesser charges.

As usual, you were wrong on both issues. And this appeal isn't going anywhere.

fudgystuff 5 years, 2 months ago

Let's hope that Judge Fairchild has the diginity & respect for rape victims and will not even consider a new trial for Jaeger. Douglas County needs to stop wasting taxpayers time & money on 2nd trials. He was found guilty once, why should Jaeger's daddy be able to fund more money to lawyers to keep his little boy out of prision?? It's unthinkable and a no brainer...NO NEW TRIAL............

frank mcguinness 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes practicality, the same guy apparently.

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Interesting approach for the defense to use - argue that the jury's verdict would have been somehow more valid if they ignored the misconduct of a juror favoring the defense and allowed him to cause a hung jury.

Maybe that's the way it works in Chicago, Pedro ...

I suppose it also hasn't occurred to the eminent attorney that while he might have swayed the eleven other jurors to Jaeger's innocence, the other eleven jurors might have convinced Mr. Edmondson of his guilt?

frank mcguinness 5 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if mr edmondson would like a few protesters at his baseball games to remind the parents and fans who he sides with.

A young woman who was heinously abused or some rich brat?

Can't wait for the 2010 eudora baseball season to start.

Jimo 5 years, 2 months ago

"Conducting your own investigation" will ALWAYS get you kicked off any jury.

"he didn’t have the chance to sway other jurors to his way of thinking."

Defendants do not have a right to have a juror to advocate on their behalf, only a right to a fair and impartial jury of their peers - something fully satisfied by the inclusion of an alternate juror. Who is a "real" juror or an alternate is a random determination, changeable at any point when it's in the interest of justice.

"he didn’t have the chance to sway other jurors to his way of thinking or hold onto his beliefs and create a hung jury."

In other words, he'd made up his mind but the other jurors were still deliberating?

I've been on a surprising number of juries (what luck) and in all but one case ended up as the foreman. I've found it most useful in dealing with this type of juror (I mean strongly and uniquely opinionated, not engaging in misconduct) to single them out and ask them to explain to everyone else the one piece of evidence that most persuades them to their view and candidly to state the one piece of counter-evidence that makes them hesitate. As long as they're reasonable, the other jurors are able to either correct some misimpression they have of the evidence or the act of making the counter-argument leads them to reconsider their own decision.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 2 months ago

If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny.

Edmundson "reenacted" falling on the bed rail? That must have been something to see. How much money does it take to make a grown man do something so ridiculous. And, believe me, if this fool had been present around the other jurors, I doubt if his powers of persuasion would have produced a convert.

Stupidity of this magnitude rarely happens to two people.

tvc 5 years, 2 months ago

How does a man "reenact" a woman falling on a bed rail??

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Send him to Leavenworth to start working off his time......

poppygirl 5 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to know how this man reenacted the bed rail fall without some permanent family jewel damage !

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

poppygirl (Anonymous) says…

"I'd like to know how this man reenacted the bed rail fall without some permanent family jewel damage !"

Based on the assumption that the cretin possesses such jewelry, poppygirl.

poppygirl 5 years, 2 months ago

HA, I'd say he's packin costume jewlery

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 2 months ago

In my imagination, the bed rail reenactment went something like this:

Edmundson:

  1. drinks a stiff shot of whisky;
  2. grits his teeth;
  3. closes his eyes; 4 implaes himself on a nearby bedrail;
  4. falls slowly to the ground clutching his costume jewelry
  5. repeat 27 times

That should recreate the injuries that Briggs sustained.

aletheia 5 years, 2 months ago

kneejerk ~ That was funny stuff. I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! What a visual.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 2 months ago

gotta give poppygirl credit for the costume jewels..... Who was that guy on MASH, that CIA operative who was always injuring himself to make his point?....sounds like Edmondson.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 2 months ago

ralph...not sure if jaeger got his money's worth. That $hit was in orbit.

StrangerCreek 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm surprised it took this long for them to file. Been expecting it. Everybody has the right to appeal, no question. And I'm confident he'll get exactly what's fairly coming to him, no question. The defense was flimsy from the start and this is more so. Only the legal teams will derive any profit from this activity.

somebodynew 5 years, 2 months ago

"Only the legal teams will derive any profit from this activity. "

Well, and maybe one juror. But that is just me being a conspiracy theorist again.

townie42 5 years, 2 months ago

Funny... when the defense thought Edmonsun was against his client, he was first in line to throw Edmonsun off the jury:

From Aug 12th: “It’s not like a simple drive-by or reading in a newspaper; the allegations here involved a re-enactment of a material fact in this case,” defense attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said. “And it is very disturbing to think the interests of justice have been put at such jeopardy as a result of this man’s action.”

Irigonegaray said the actions had “been ongoing, since early on in the deliberations of this case. It is difficult for me to not conclude that there has been an impact.”

I guess the "interests of justice" only apply when you think the juror will say your client is innocent. Right, Pedro?

Steve Jacob 5 years, 2 months ago

Wow people! Let's forget everything we know from the trial. The one juror who believed he might be innocent was tossed off. That does sound fishy to me. You are entitled to a fair trial, no matter if you did it.

somebodynew 5 years, 2 months ago

srj - I totally agree with you that everyone is entitled to a fair trial. In this case, I think the judge made the correct decision in releasing the juror and using an alternate.

And I agree with townie42 in that Pedro was the biggest spokesperson when this went on. What townie42 isn't addressing is that Pedro wanted a hung jury and a new trial. Which is what he is asking for here.

Gee, I thought that was why they had alternate jurors listening to all the evidence (in case one couldn't continue).

As I said, just seems odd to me that Pedro wanted a hung jury and the only one against his conviction was kicked off because he "did" his own investigation and shared it.

To me, if he had done his own investigation(properly), he wouldn't have been able to attend the next day of jury deliberations. The victim was in the hospital for weeks because of the injuries she received, but he didn't get injured while "investigating" the defense theory of how the severe injuries occurred.??

Must be one tough SOB.

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