A jury found Melanie Curtin guilty of first degree rape for her participation in an incident with Dennis Perkins involving an unconscious adult. Although first degree rape carries a mandatory life in prison sentence, that sentence cannot be rendered without all motions being ruled on first.
So now, Curtin’s attorneys have filed a motion for new trial and motion for post-verdict judgement of acquittal.
The motion for new trial is based on four specific points:
- The verdict is contrary to the law and evidence. This means “the weight of the evidence was not sufficient for any jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Melanie Curtin was guilty.”
- The court’s ruling on three separate motions and/or objections made during trial show prejudicial error. The defense claims there were two crucial pieces of evidence that the Court did not allow in.
3. The defense has discovered since trial that there were improprieties in the jury deliberations and that one of the jurors was coerced into voting guilty when in fact he wanted to vote not guilty. The defense says after six hours of deliberating on Dec. 3rd, the jury delivered a note to the Court reading
“Eleven to one for rape verdict. We can not agree to a charge. Eleven aggravated, one for not guilty. What do we do?”
The defense says at that point, the court should have granted a mistrial. Instead, the Court instructed the jury to continue deliberations. An hour later, the jury returned with a guilty verdict. Plus, the lead attorney on the case, John McLindon said he received a call from a juror saying “he was uncomfortable with his vote and wanted to do something about it.” Three days later, that same juror contacted McLindon again expressing he was very uncomfortable with his vote. It’s why the defense believes based on what happened in the jury deliberation room, that a new trial is warranted.
4. Justice would be served with the granting of a new trial.
The reasons above are also the basic for a motion for post-verdict judgement of acquittal.
It’s why Curtin’s original sentencing date of Feb. 17th, 2022 will now be moved to March 21, 2022. The motions will be heard March 10th.