Lawyers for Bill Cosby have made a last minute bid to have a empaneled juror removed from service on the grounds that he lied when he claimed to have no ‘fixed opinion’ and told other potential jurors that he believed the disgraced actor to be guilty.
The shock motion comes after an arduous and sometimes explosive jury selection process that lasted four days and now threatens to delay further the start of the trial due to begin Monday 9 April in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Juror number 11 was empaneled Wednesday afternoon. When questioned in individual voir dire he claimed to have formed no fixed opinion about Cosby’s guilt or innocence though he, like the vast majority of prospective jurors, admitted to being aware of both the broad allegations and the #MeToo movement.
All but a few had knowledge of both but the jurors selected to sit among the panel of 12 all claimed to have formed no fixed opinion and clearly stated that what they had learned would not prevent them from being ‘fair and impartial.’
But papers filed late Friday by Cosby’s defense, led by Tom Mesereau, stated: ‘Mr. Cosby respectfully moves to strike a juror for cause and to question seated jurors based on recently obtained information regarding the juror’s expression to other prospective jurors of a fixed opinion and possibly false statements during voir dire.
‘It has recently come to the attention of defense counsel that a juror seated in this case, Seated Juror #11 (known previously as Prospective Juror #93 of Venire Panel #2), made at least one comment to another prospective juror during jury selection indicating that he may hold a fixed opinion as to Mr. Cosby’s guilt for the crimes charged.’
Juror 11 allegedly told others while waiting for individual voir dire, ‘I just think he’s guilty.’