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Former Del City police officer seeks new trial after his manslaughter conviction

Former Del City police Capt. Randy Trent Harrison is seeking a new trial, alleging jury misconduct during deliberations on his first-degree manslaughter conviction.
by Matt Dinger Modified: January 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm •  Published: January 10, 2014
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Former Del City police Capt. Randy Trent Harrison is seeking a new trial, alleging jury misconduct during deliberations on his first-degree manslaughter conviction.

Harrison, 48, was to be formally sentenced on Wednesday, but the court date was pushed back to Feb. 5 because the pre-sentencing investigation has not been completed, defense attorney Doug Friesen said.

Harrison was convicted by an Oklahoma County jury Nov. 26. He fatally shot 18-year-old Dane Scott Jr. following a police pursuit and scuffle on SE 15 near Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City March 14, 2012. Scott had been disarmed of a handgun before being killed by Harrison.

A television station reported online and during a broadcast that the jury was deadlocked 10-2 toward a guilty verdict during deliberation, according to a motion filed in Oklahoma County District Court last week.

“No one, including the judge, is supposed to be aware of the view of jurors during deliberations,” the motion states.

Prosecutors contend that there is neither proof nor witnesses to validate this claim.

“The news report the Defendant refers to names no sources and does not infer how the information was obtained,” prosecutor Gayland Gieger wrote in the state's response.

“Most of what the report contains could have easily been learned by being present in open Court,” he wrote.

Motion's allegations

District Judge Donald Deason also excused a juror who reportedly refused to cast another vote for guilt or innocence while deliberations were stalled at a 10-1 vote. The judge excused her for failing to follow her oath as a juror.

The judge replaced her with an alternate juror who had been sent home the previous night but told to remain on call. A guilty verdict was returned later that day.

The defense objected to the removal of the juror because she had participated in prior votes, and the judge refused to instruct the jury to begin deliberations anew after the substitution.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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