Jurors returned to court on Tuesday in the jail death case of a diabetic woman who was deprived of insulin and denied medical care for three days.
Attorney’s questioned the jury to find out if they had been exposed to outside information about the death of Deborah Braillard since the civil trial was suspended 43 days ago.
The ABC15 Investigators were the only ones in court to see the deliberations.
We watched as attorneys for Maricopa County challenged four jurors. That’s something that could lead to a potential mistrial or bench trial.
The judge has yet to make a ruling about the jurors or how to proceed with the case, which is scheduled to resume on November 26.
However, the judge did express frustration about how Maricopa County officials flip-flopped on a settlement decision.
After three weeks of testimony, the trial came to an abrupt halt on Oct. 1.
The county offered to pay Deborah Braillard’s family $3.25 million.
Attorneys said in court that all of the supervisors agreed to the settlement. But after a public protest about deaths in Maricopa County jails, two supervisors changed their vote.
That decision threw the whole trial into uncertainty.
The four jurors that were challenged admitted to talking about the case since the trial was halted.
Some of those jurors also admitted to researching information and news about the settlement and other case details.
If a full jury can’t be seated, the judge has introduced the possibility of a bench trial, meaning he will render a verdict.
The County may also face sanctions if the court determines they negotiated a settlement in bad faith.
Taxpayers have already paid roughly $2 million in legal fees for this case.
If there is a mistrial or if the county appeals any parts of the verdict, it will drive those costs even higher.
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