KATV tonight aired an interview with Kenneth Norman, a juror in last week’s manslaughter trial of former cop Josh Hastings for the fatal shooting of Bobby Moore III, 15, during his response to a car burglary at an apartment complex last year.
Norman said the jury ultimate deadlocked 11-1 in favor of a not guilty verdict, after splitting 9-3 originally on the first day of deliberation. Additional deliberation couldn’t shake the one juror, who favored conviction. I’d heard earlier that a white female juror was a holdout.
Norman said a key was whether the car was moving toward Hastings when he fired. Hastings didn’t testify and the defense offered no direct testimony to counter prosecution testimony that the car was stopped or going backward when Hastings fired. But defense attorney Bill James worked on the veracity of Moore’s companions that night. The prosecution’s failure to call an expert on accident reconstruction who testified in the first trial — holding him for rebuttal to Hastings’ expected testimony that never came — might have been important.
“Everybody that voted not guilty, we went around the room and we said, you know, everybody tell why they thought he was not guilty,” said Norman. “Every time we did that, [they] would come back and say, ‘Well, I can’t see it that a way. I can’t see it that way’.”
Norman said even in the jury box, the 12 members could feel the emotion surrounding this trial.
“There’s people that’s grieving because of the murder. Then, there’s a guy sitting there that thinks he done the right thing by shooting him,” Norman said about the Moore and Hastings families.
“There’s quite a bit of emotion going on because, hey…he’s had a whole year of this, and we’d like to say he’s not guilty.”
Hastings first trial, by an all-white jury, ended hung with a vote reportedly 9-3 in favor of conviction. This one, with a jury with two blacks, split 11-1 for acquittal. The outcome followed Judge Wendell Griffen’s takeover of jury selection questioning to be sure it wasn’t tainted by racial bias. Hastings is white; the victim black. Griffen is also black. A retrial is scheduled May 5.