State v. Tresvant, No. 77-1780

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation359 So.2d 524
Decision Date23 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 77-1780
PartiesThe STATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Albert W. TRESVANT, Sr., Appellee.

Page 524

359 So.2d 524
The STATE of Florida, Appellant,
v.
Albert W. TRESVANT, Sr., Appellee.
No. 77-1780.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,Third District.
May 23, 1978.
Rehearing Denied June 28, 1978.

Page 525

Janet Reno, State's Atty. and Paul M. Rashkind, Asst. State's Atty., for appellant.

James W. Matthews, Miami, for appellee.

Before HENDRY and HUBBART, JJ., and CHARLES CARROLL (Ret.), Associate Judge.

PER CURIAM.

The State filed this appeal from an order granting new trial. We find error and reverse.

The appellee was found guilty by a jury of the crimes charged against him by indictment, consisting of conspiracy to commit a felony, bribery, and unauthorized compensation for official behavior, in violation respectively of Sections 777.04(3), 838.015, and 838.016 Florida Statutes (1975).

As recited in the order granting new trial, it was sought by the defendant on the grounds (1) that the court erred in excusing a qualified juror on motion of the State, and (2) that the "jury was influenced by fear or prejudice owing to an incident involving defendant following them out of the courtroom building into a parking lot area".

As to the first incident, whereby a juror was removed for cause during the trial and was replaced by the chosen alternate juror, the trial court, in granting the motion for new trial, viewed that as having been an error of law. Regarding the second incident, as to which the court during trial had become satisfied that no prejudice to the defendant had thereby occurred, in granting new trial the court said such incident constituted a "cause not due to defendant's own fault which prevented a fair and impartial trial".

On voir dire, the juror who later was excused for cause, when questioned as to whether she had ever been a victim of a crime, did not answer that question directly but stated she had been arrested on being accused of interfering with an arrest which was being made of her son, but that the

Page 526

matter had been dropped. Investigation made by the State while the trial was proceeding disclosed that a person having the same name had been arrested on six occasions. Prior to the close of the State's case the State, with permission of the Court, on further voir dire examination of the juror, established that she was the person who had been subject to said multiple arrests, which she had not revealed. The State's motion for the juror to be excused or removed for cause was granted and the trial proceeded with the alternate juror replacing the one thus excused.

The appellee argues it was error to remove the juror because the fact that she had been arrested a number of times did not legally disqualify her to sit as a juror. The State contends removal of the juror was not for any reason of disqualification under the law, but for her lack of candor in not revealing the other arrests, when her answers were such as to lead to an inference indicating there was only one such and, because, as recited in the court's order, in the course of her subsequent voir dire in which she was questioned by a prosecutor regarding her failure to...

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1 practice notes
  • People v. Borrelli, No. 77-713
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • October 23, 1980
    ...with an alternate or may justify declaring a mistrial. People v. Bastardo, 191 Colo. 521, 554 P.2d 297 (1976); State v. Tresvant, 359 So.2d 524 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1978); Minnis v. Jackson, 330 So.2d 847 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1976); see also People v. Farris, 66 Cal.App.3d 376, 136 Cal.Rptr. 45 (19......
1 cases
  • People v. Borrelli, No. 77-713
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • October 23, 1980
    ...with an alternate or may justify declaring a mistrial. People v. Bastardo, 191 Colo. 521, 554 P.2d 297 (1976); State v. Tresvant, 359 So.2d 524 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1978); Minnis v. Jackson, 330 So.2d 847 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1976); see also People v. Farris, 66 Cal.App.3d 376, 136 Cal.Rptr. 45 (19......

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