Photo: Federal Bar Association
AKRON -- Five jurors told U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi who is presiding over the corruption trial of Jimmy Dimora that they saw or heard something in the media regarding the trial.
Afterwards, in the back of the courtroom, Dimora defense attorney Andrea Whitaker was overheard telling U.S. Attorney Spokesman Michael Tobin "...those damn puppets...it was even on CNN last night..."
The local CBS TV affiliate is airing a segment at the end of its 11 p.m. newscast each day that depicts actual trial transcript but uses puppets instead of real people to renact the scenes.
All five jurors -- three men and two women -- had individual conferences with Lioi and attorneys for both sides. Those conferences were done at the bench and out of the hearing of the courtroom or other jurors.
When the entire jury returned, Lioi cautioned them that any sketch artists in the courtroom could not draw the jury except in silhouette with no identifying characteristics nor had any information about any juror.
She also repeated her daily instructions not to read or talk about the trial with anyone.
Andrea Whitaker was asked after court adjourned about what she said to Tobin. She said she had only heard in open court what one juror said about seeing something in the media and refused to comment on her puppet comment.
Tobin was asked what the jurors saw or heard and had no comment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon was then asked if what the jury saw was the puppets or an article in a newspaper or on the Internet about the puppets. Bacon she said she could not comment on it.