Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Missing juror spends afternoon in jail

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A missing juror who delayed the start of a jury trial this morning was let off with a warning after she spent the afternoon in jail.

The woman, identified only as juror #10, was part of the jury on the Richard Rondeau trial, which began last Monday.

Court was told the young woman had been late several times last week but she hadn’t arrived in the courthouse this morning for the 10 a.m. start of the trial.

By 10:20 a.m., with the agreement of both the defence counsel and Crown prosecutor, Justice Gerald Chartier discharged the juror, issued a warrant for her arrest and continued with the trial.

The woman arrived at court much later, was taken into custody and spent the afternoon in a jail cell while the other 11 jurors determined Rondeau’s fate.

Chartier had the woman brought to the courtroom after the jury brought in its guilty verdict.

She was marched through the courtroom, wearing handcuffs and her feet in shackles, and placed in the prisoner’s box.

The woman immediately apologized to the court and the other jurors, explaining that she had been up all night with a fever, severe cramps and vomiting, and she slept late into the morning.

When Chartier asked the woman why she had been late several times last week, she explained she had to take transit to get to the courthouse and if she missed a bus there was a long wait for the second bus.

Chartier said he could have found the woman in contempt of court and sent her back to jail and imposed a fine, but accepted her explanation, with a warning that she had to take greater responsibility for her actions.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM CDT: updates with juror found

3:28 PM: Corrects judge's name to Gerald

6:24 PM: corrects Rondeau's name

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