I haven’t posted for a few days, and will not be posting today, because I have a felony criminal jury trial in Monroe County. If it doesn’t go well, I’ll just skip the part where I post the results….
UPDATE: Big win last night. The jury deliberated far into the evening and eventually hung on count 1, which was felony wanton endangerment with a firearm. They came back not guilty of count 2, which was felony wanton endangerment with a firearm, but guilty of the lesser included of brandishing, which is a misdemeanor. And they came back guilty of count 3, which was a misdemeanor battery charge, which was expected and really not opposed.
It was a difficult case, and was argued well by the prosecuting attorney, and bitterly fought by myself. And in the end my client didn’t walk out of the courtroom a convicted felon – and with a mandatory penitentiary sentence and three year bar for parole – and that was my goal. Though extremely unlikely, the prosecutor could try my client again on count 1, but like they say, we’ll cross that bridge if we get there. Every trial is a mini-war, and you have to fight it one battle at a time. I’m pretty confident though that this war is over.
This result further strengthens my respect for the right to a jury trial. Everyone else can write you off, but in the end it’s up to the jury. And we can all be comfortable knowing that we have that right.
Prosecutors need to start offering me better pleas. This is the third felony criminal jury trial in the past year where my client and I have been backed into a corner, forced to go to trial, and achieved either a unanimous and complete acquittal, or at least one unanimous acquittal and beaten the plea offer.
And I have another criminal felony jury trial on deck for next month, and so, like it or not, I will remain on the warpath…
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney