Juror's Crush on Suspect May Have Caused a Mistrial

Bronx DA investigates allegations

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 6:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – A murder trial ended in a hung jury and mistrial—and it's all because one of the jurors was in love with the suspect, says the victim's mother. Now, the Bronx district attorney has launched an investigation into the relationship between former juror Katheryne Diop and Devon Thomas, the New York Post reports. Thomas was convicted of manslaughter in a second trial over the death of Abdoul Toure. Now, Diop "visits him [in jail] more often than his own family," says a Post source. "He’s a very charismatic guy."

According to Toure's mother, Aissata Diane, Thomas "tried to start a relationship with [Diop] during the first trial for his own benefit," and Diop "was hoping he could get off and [she could] start a relationship with him after he got out of jail." Diop pushed the other jurors to acquit Thomas, Diane insists. Diop attended the second trial, and Thomas blew her a kiss following the guilty verdict, the Post notes. She claims they became close only after the mistrial: "I'm not the reason for the hung jury or the mistrial," she says. "I had no relationship with Devon before or during the trial."

A juror is facing a probe over whether romantic interest in a suspect prompted a mistrial.   (Shutterstock)
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