Deliberations by Texas jury prompts missing person report

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2016 6:38 PM

WACO, Texas (AP) — One juror in a Central Texas robbery trial apparently forgot to tell her family she'd be working late deliberating in the case, prompting relatives to file a missing person report.

The juror had been working late Thursday evening with fellow jurors in the McLennan County Courthouse and apparently had failed to let her family know about it, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2fWSJgi ) Saturday.

Her family filed a missing person report with Waco police, which sent two officers to the courthouse to check on the woman's whereabouts and to make sure she was still on jury duty.

Jurors were still working at 11:45 p.m. when the officers interrupted their deliberations.

The officers were told the juror was fine and was inside the jury room with other jurors.

Judge Ralph Strother said in his 21 years in the criminal justice system, this was the first time someone had filed a missing person report for someone on jury duty.

The jurors got absorbed in their deliberations but officials don't want them to "take it so seriously that they forget their families," he said.

"We knew everything was OK, and I'm sure the family member was quite concerned, and I don't blame them. But from our perspective, it kind of brought a bit of comic relief from a very intense trial," Strother said.

The jurors continued deliberating until early Friday morning when the defendant in the case, 23-year-old William Trevunte Brown, pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with prosecutors for robbing a smoke shop.

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Information from: Waco Tribune-Herald, http://www.wacotrib.com