Juror Who Went on Vacation During Deliberations Is Happy Her Next Stop Isn’t Jail
Posted Aug 28, 2012 12:09 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Wisconsin juror who left for a Cancun vacation after deliberations had begun was spared a jail sentence in a contempt hearing on Tuesday.
Ivana Samardzic, 20, will have to pay a $300 fine, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog Proof & Hearsay. "I don't know if this was worth it, but I did have a good time in Cancun," Samardzic told the blog after the hearing. "I am relieved. I'm just happy I'm not in jail."
Samardzic left after deliberations began in a felony shooting case against the defendant, Spartacus Outlaw, Proof & Hearsay reported last week. According to defense lawyer Robert D'Arruda, Samardzic called the court clerk from the airport and explained that she had left her vote with the foreman.
Outlaw permitted the case to proceed with only 11 jurors and was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a gun. The jury was unable to agree on another charge of reckless injury with a dangerous weapon.
Samardzic told Judge J.D. Watts that she didn’t want to miss the nine-day family vacation because she had saved for a long time for the trip while working part-time as a dietary aide. She appeared Tuesday without a lawyer, but her brother offered a comment on her behalf, Proof & Hearsay says. “I guess it's just one of those situations where, you know, [expletive] happens," he told the judge.