A juror dismissed from the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, after she told the judge her father had died in California admitted in court Monday that her excuse had been a lie: She actually left town to attend the Breeders' Cup horse race in Arcadia, Calif.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan declined to sanction the juror, Marian Hinnant, 52, of Washington, D.C., and allowed her to return to work after a short hearing.
A.J. Kramer, the federal public defender, represented Hinnant at the hearing and told the judge that Hinnant had been in such “a state of mind” that she could not continue deliberations.
Hinnant, holding a large packet of hand-written notes, then gave a rambling statement that involved wiretaps, horses and drugs in Kentucky before Sullivan stopped her.
The judge had ordered Hinnant to appear at Monday's hearing because he has been unable to reach her since she was dismissed from the panel.
On Oct. 23, a day after the jury began deliberations, Hinnant told Sullivan that she had to leave town because her father had died in California.
Deliberations were suspended.
After Sullivan was unable to reach Hinnant by phone over the next few days, he replaced her with an alternate.
Deliberations resumed on Oct. 27, and the jury convicted Stevens that afternoon of seven counts of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide receipt of about $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Alaska home.