Con­flict brew­ing amid jurors in po­lice cor­rup­tion case

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION - KEVIN MAR­TIN [email protected]­ On Twit­ter: @KMart­inCourts

The judge pre­sid­ing over the case of three Cal­gar­i­ans charged with stalk­ing in an al­leged po­lice cor­rup­tion case quizzed two jurors about po­ten­tial bias Wed­nes­day.

Jus­tice Glen Poel­man asked both a po­ten­tial whistle­blower and the ju­ror at the cen­tre of the con­tro­versy about con­cerns re­gard­ing po­ten­tial per­sonal opin­ions of pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors cloud­ing de­lib­er­a­tions.

A male jury mem­ber, iden­ti­fi­able only as ju­ror No. 4, told Poel­man and Crown and de­fence lawyers that an­other jury mem­ber ex­pressed she had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence to the case they’re rul­ing on.

“She feels she’s been saved from some­thing sim­i­lar in life,” ju­ror No. 4 said, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

“It’s been said she can’t change her ways based on a pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence that she’s had,” he said.

But when that jury mem­ber, ju­ror No. 7, was sub­se­quently

I feel to­tally I can be hon­est and I can look at the ev­i­dence

brought in to be ques­tioned by Poel­man, she de­nied be­ing bi­ased in her de­lib­er­a­tions.

She in­sisted she could con­tinue to fairly pre­side over the fate of the three ac­cused.

“I feel to­tally I can be hon­est and I can look at the ev­i­dence,” she told Poel­man when asked about her abil­ity to re­main im­par­tial.

“I just felt that be­cause I had dif­fer­ing views from the other jurors that I was be­ing picked on,” she said, adding she could han­dle any crit­i­cism.

Poel­man then brought the en­tire jury back in to re­mind them of the need to ex­press their views openly and to change their opin­ion if the ev­i­dence war­ranted it.

But he said if any jury mem­ber felt con­vinced of a par­tic­u­lar view they could hold on to it, which could re­sult in a mis­trial in the case.

Wealthy Cal­gary busi­ness­man Ken Carter, along with for­mer Cal­gary po­lice Det. Steve Wal­ton and Wal­ton’s wife Heather, a for­mer civil­ian mem­ber of the force, are charged with crim­i­nal ha­rass­ment over an al­leged cam­paign of in­tim­i­da­tion against Carter’s for­mer girl­friend.

They ’re ac­cused of stalk­ing Akele Tay­lor in 2012 and 2013, dur­ing a child cus­tody dis­pute be­tween her and Carter.

The Wal­tons also face charges of po­lice bribery for al­legedly hir­ing of­fi­cers to en­gage in the ha­rass­ment, as well as charges of im­prop­erly stor­ing re­stricted firearms.

Jurors be­gan de­lib­er­a­tions around noon on Tues­day.

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