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Lawyer Says Wrong Name on Jury Verdict Form Means His Client Isn’t Guilty

Posted Jan 11, 2012 6:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: A lawyer in Washington state has filed a motion seeking to overturn his client’s burglary conviction because the jury verdict form named a different defendant.

Lawyer Gary Metro says in a motion that the Benton County verdict form carried the name of Anthony Joseph Speelman, an identity theft defendant tried a few months before his client, Joshua Jordan Graham, the Tri-City Herald reports. Graham was convicted Dec. 21 in the break-in of a bowling alley’s business offices.

After jurors reached a verdict, the clerk read the verdict form aloud and corrected the name to say “Graham,” the story says. The clerk notified the judge and lawyers of the paperwork error after jurors left the courtroom, but a corrected form was not filed, according to the motion.

The form has the correct name in the heading, but not in the section finding the defendant guilty of burglary.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. to include the name of Anthony Joseph Speelman.

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