Astor Juror Says She Voted to Convict Out of Fear

Appeal will argue that holdout juror was intimidated
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2010 8:02 AM CST
Anthony Marshall, left, the 85-year-old son of philanthropist Brooke Astor arrives at Manhattan State Supreme Court for his sentencing with his wife Charlene, and his attorney Ken Warner, Monday Dec....   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – Anthony Marshall was innocent, a juror in the trial of Brooke Astor's son says now, but she voted to convict him because she felt threatened by another juror. Her statements, along with some 60 emails sent among the jurors, form the basis of an appeal the defense will file today. Judith DeMarco says that Yvonne Fernandez was hostile during deliberations, made threatening comments, and flashed what she thought were gang signs, reports the New York Times.

DeMarco was fearful of Fernandez, she says, because Fernandez, who once needed to be restrained by another juror, told her she had dated a Latin Kings member. Emails between the jurors outline how they should downplay the conflict between the two women to the press. “The judge wasn’t going to protect me,” says DeMarco in an affidavit. “At the end I’m ashamed I couldn’t stand my ground. But I couldn’t take it any longer. I don’t want to see anyone innocent go away, but I had to do what I had to do.”

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