Selfie Wastes Courthouse Time and Thousands of Dollars

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Blue Ridge, Ga – An Ill-timed selfie taken by a juror resulted in the dismissal of the entire jury pool for the week of August 5, 2019.

Fetch Your News can confirm that individuals who disregarded the sanctity of jury duty resulted in the cancellation of criminal court for August 5 through 9.

Jurors reported Monday morning for a high profile criminal case involving a minor that carried serious charges. While waiting in the jury room, Roy Conner took a selfie of himself and the majority jurors in the room. He even tagged a prospective juror when he posted it to Facebook. Additionally, at least three other jurors also commented about their jury experience online.

As a result, the identity of jurors became public knowledge. The selfie exposed jurors to outside influences.

Conner has since removed the picture from his Facebook.

The selfie received 50 likes and 55 comments before disappearing from social media. A courthouse employee, Robin Gazaway, commented on the photo asking Conner to visit her if he gets a break and to tell the judge that he believed “all people [were] guilty.”

Gazaway gave Conner suggestions for getting out of jury duty.

The selfie and comments removed any chance of anonymity for the jury and opened jurors up to jury bias and persuasion.

Out of the 250 citizens summoned to serve for the week of August 5, 113 appeared on Monday, and 102 remained for duty. The county paid $7,100 in funds to the dismissed jurors and lost a week of criminal court.

Fannin County only receives six criminal court weeks a year. With the dismissal, the court will have to adjust trial dates for this case and all upcoming criminal cases.

The criminal case involving a minor was picking a jury for the first time, but the indictment occurred on November 2018.

Typically, Clerk of Court requires 25 to 30 days to assemble a jury, from list pulling to jurors appearing for court. At the courthouse, clerk and bailiffs inform jurors to silence or turn off their phones while waiting for selection.

In the future, summons might include a written statement that expressly prohibits taking photos or publicly sharing jury service on social media.

When reached for comment, Conner said, “If my Facebook post caused this, I am deeply sorry that I caused any trouble. The post was in jest, and I truly regret posting it. My sincerest apologies to the court, the county, and all involved. If I would’ve known a simple selfie done in jest would have caused this much trouble, I most assuredly would not have posted it.”

11 Comments

  1. Sukoch August 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    If you didn’t know the trouble/expense it would cost the County, I’m not sure they would ever call you to jury duty again. You should be made to pay the money lost, due to your lack of common sense….oh wait, you’re man…it figures.

  2. Naomi Johnson August 11, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I would think everyone was told to turn their phones OFF….

  3. Larry Henderson August 11, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Mr. Connor should be punished and made an example of for his lack of common sense and the waste of my money that I lay through taxes. I sincerely hope that the courts will do their sworn duty and make this man pay.

  4. Walter August 11, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Should been made clear leave all phones outside this wouldn’t have happened don’t see what it would have hurt anyway by posting.

    • Carol Brys August 15, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Is it possible that whoever instructs “The Jury Pool” dropped the ball here and should accept responsibility for this faux pas?..It’s quite probable that the person charged here did not know that they were doing anything wrong by taking “The Selfie”…It is a normal almost knee jerk response now days to take a selfie in a momentous occasion or circumstance!…Maybe it would prevent anything like this happening again if all potential jurors were given a list of instructions of what to do and not to do as a potential juror and asked to sign that they understood just saying….

  5. Virginia Spurling August 13, 2019 at 11:43 am

    The jurors are randomly picked from the community. Whether or not they have a lot of common sense is anyone’s guess.

  6. DWL August 15, 2019 at 8:28 am

    This was either intentional or he’s just dimwitted. Fine 7100.00.

    • Lynn Williamson August 19, 2019 at 4:25 am

      He should be made to reimburse the county for its losses associated with his stupidly !!!

  7. kathy August 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    He had already taken the oath, he should have known you do that for a reason ! He should get more than a smack on the hand then others would know this is serious !!!

  8. Jerry Beaver August 28, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    This picture was taken before court even started that morning and before the jurors were instructed about serving as jurors! I remember that the jurors’ list was printed in the newspaper for years. Also the jurors were given tags that identified them as jurors. I am sure some went to lunch with those tags on. So much for juror secrecy!
    The whole incident was political in nature because the county CFO was involved.

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