March 17, 2017

Original 7-2 count incorrect – 8 jurors favored Adams family


West Palm Beach, Fla. — A day after a mistrial in the month-long wrongful death civil trial of Seth Adams’ family vs. Sgt. Michael Custer, a juror told the plaintiffs’ lawyers the entire panel save one were all in favor of the Adams family and did not believe Custer’s story.

According to Ted Leopold, of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a juror showed up to express his frustration and said the panel spent 2 ½ days trying to get the lone holdout to change her vote.

The juror said the first afternoon after closing arguments, another juror or two might have originally been on Custer’s side, but quickly changed their minds after the panel discussed the evidence. He said the ones in favor of the Adams family were ready to present their verdict the first afternoon, but couldn’t without a unanimous vote.

Then the entire panel spent the next two days trying to get the holdout to consider their views, but said that she would not budge.

When the jury sent Judge Daniel Hurley a note saying they were deadlocked on day three, Hurley read them the Allen charge, which notes the time, expense and emotional toll of the trial and urges jurors to try again to come to a unanimous conclusion.

He also asked any holdouts to reconsider that their opinions might not be reasonable if the rest of the jury all thought otherwise.

Four and a half hours later, the juror still would not change her mind, and a mistrial was declared.

The Adams family said they are going forward with a second trial.

Judge Hurley has set a hearing date for March 30.

The full article and video clip can be viewed here.