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.
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.
“Once the juror determined her position, made her position known by her vote consistent with that position, there was no requirement that she subsequently change her position or repeatedly ‘vote' such position during deliberations in order to fulfill her oath,” the motion states.
In an interview conducted by a private investigator hired by the defense, the excused juror said that she had registered her vote twice and stated that she did not need to vote again.
The juror also said that she never voiced a desire not to participate nor did she wish to be removed as a juror, according to an affidavit.
But prosecutors argue that the excused juror was present when the jury foreperson told the court about the juror's refusal to vote and did not contradict statements made in court. The investigator's affidavit contains nothing but hearsay, according to the response.
The motion alleges that the court violated Harrison's due process by not permitting expert testimony regarding the training and standards of police officers, according to the motion.
The court also did not allow character evidence to be presented on behalf of Harrison.
“The trial court's refusal to admit this evidence was based upon its belief that such evidence was inadmissible insofar as the prosecution had not offered evidence of the defendant's bad character; however, the reverse is true. The character of the accused is always relevant during a criminal prosecution,” the motion states.
The motion also objects to a failure of the court to give jury instructions requested by the defense.
Harrison remains in the Oklahoma County jail. An appeal bond cannot be granted in first-degree manslaughter cases.