Menendez II Penalty Phase 4/17/96 Jury Verdict Transcript


SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT NW "N" HON. STANLEY M. WEISBERG, JUDGE

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF )
CALIFORNIA, )
PLAINTIFFS, )
)
VS. ) NO. BA 068880
)
ERIK GALEN MENENDEZ, AND )
JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ, )
DEFENDANTS. )
_______________________________________)

REPORTER'S TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
MARY LU MURPHY, CSR NO. 5178
MARILYN FADALE, CSR NO. 4547

VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA; WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 1996 3:20 P.M.

(THE FOLLOWING PROCEEDINGS WERE HELD OUT OF THE PRESENCE OF THE JURY:)

THE COURT: IN THE TRIAL, THE DEFENDANTS ARE IN COURT WITH THEIR LAWYERS. THE PEOPLE ARE HERE. AND THE JURY HAS INDICATED TO THE BAILIFF THAT THEY HAVE REACHED VERDICTS IN THIS CASE, AND WE WILL BE TAKING THE VERDICTS IN A MOMENT. AS WE DID IN THE GUILT PHASE, DO COUNSEL STIPULATE THAT IN READING THE VERDICTS THAT THE CLERK NEED NOT READ THE NAME OF THE FOREMAN WHO SIGNS THE VERDICT FORMS?

MS. ABRAMSON: SO STIPULATED.

MR. GESSLER: SO STIPULATED, YOUR HONOR.

MR. CONN: YES, YOUR HONOR.

MS. NAJERA: SO STIPULATED.

THE COURT: ALL RIGHT. LET'S HAVE THE JURY OUT, PLEASE.

(THE JURY ENTERS THE COURTROOM AND THE FOLLOWING PROCEEDINGS WERE HELD:)

THE COURT: OKAY. THE JURY IS IN THE JURY BOX, AND ALSO THE ALTERNATES ARE PRESENT.

THE BAILIFF INFORMS ME THAT THE JURY HAS REACHED VERDICTS IN THIS CASE; IS THAT RIGHT?

THE FOREPERSON: WE HAVE, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: OKAY. DO YOU HAVE THE VERDICT FORMS?

THE FOREPERSON: YES, I DO.

THE COURT: WOULD YOU HAND IT TO THE BAILIFF, PLEASE.

THE BAILIFF: THANK YOU.

THE COURT: OKAY. THE VERDICT FORMS APPEAR TO BE IN ORDER, AND THE CLERK WILL NOW READ THE VERDICTS.

THE CLERK: (READING:)

"TITLE OF COURT AND CAUSE:

WE, THE JURY IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED ACTION, HAVING FOUND THE DEFENDANT, ERIK GALEN MENENDEZ, GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN COUNT 1, AND HAVING FOUND THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE TRUE, FIX THE PENALTY AT LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, THIS 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 1996. NO. 1214, FOREPERSON.

TITLE OF COURT AND CAUSE:

WE, THE JURY IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED ACTION, HAVING FOUND THE DEFENDANT, ERIK GALEN MENENDEZ, GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN COUNT 2, AND HAVING FOUND THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE TRUE, FIX THE PENALTY AT LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, THIS 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 1996. NO. 1214, FOREPERSON.

TITLE OF COURT AND CAUSE:

WE, THE JURY IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED ACTION, HAVING FOUND THE DEFENDANT, JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ, GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN COUNT 1, AND HAVING FOUND THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE TRUE, FIX THE PENALTY AT LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, THIS 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 1996. NO. 1214, FOREPERSON.

TITLE OF COURT AND CAUSE:

WE, THE JURY IN THE ABOVE-ENTITLED ACTION, HAVING FOUND THE DEFENDANT, JOSEPH LYLE MENENDEZ, GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN COUNT 2, AND HAVING FOUND THE SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE TRUE, FIX THE PENALTY AT LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE THIS 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 1996. NO. 1214, FOREPERSON."

THE CLERK: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY, ARE THESE YOUR VERDICTS?

(JURY RESPONDS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.)

THE CLERK: SO SAY YOU ONE, SO SAY YOU ALL?

(JURY RESPONDS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.)

THE COURT: OKAY. THOSE ARE THE VERDICTS. DO THE PEOPLE WISH THE JURY POLLED?

MR. CONN: NO, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: OKAY. DO COUNSEL STIPULATE THAT THE VERDICTS, AS READ BY THE CLERK, MAY BE RECORDED, AND THOSE ARE THE VERDICTS IN THIS CASE AS RECORDED?

MR. GESSLER: YES, YOUR HONOR.

MR. LEVIN: SO STIPULATED.

MS. ABRAMSON: YES, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: OKAY. THEN THAT COMPLETES THE TASK OF THE JURY IN THIS CASE. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH FOR THE TIME AND EFFORT THAT YOU HAVE DEVOTED FOR THIS CASE. AS YOU ARE AWARE, A SYSTEM SUCH AS OURS CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT PEOPLE WILLING TO DONATE THEIR TIME AND THEIR EFFORT, AND CERTAINLY YOU HAVE DONE THAT. IT HAS BEEN A GREAT IMPOSITION ON ALL OF YOU TO BE HERE, AND YOU'VE BEEN VERY CONSCIENCIOUS IN YOUR EFFORTS, AND VERY COOPERATIVE WITH THE COURT STAFF AND WITH THE BAILIFFS UNDER VERY TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES. I KNOW IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT FOR YOU, AND IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT TO TAKE YOU AWAY FROM YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES AND POSE A VERY ISOLATED SITUATION UPON YOU, AND I APPRECIATE VERY MUCH ALL THE TIME AND EFFORT YOU HAVE DEVOTED TO THIS. I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE SUPERIOR COURT FOR ALL THE TIME AND EFFORT YOU HAVE PUT INTO THIS MATTER. I HAVE SOME INFORMATION TO PROVIDE TO YOU, AND I'LL DO THAT NOW. CERTAIN THINGS I AM OBLIGATED TO DO, AND I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THEM. FIRST OF ALL, I AM OBLIGATED UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 206 TO TELL YOU THAT ONCE YOU ARE DISCHARGED, YOU MAY TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT THIS CASE, OR YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THE CASE. IT'S TOTALLY YOUR DECISION. I WILL GIVE YOU A COPY OF THAT CODE SECTION WHICH EXPLAINS YOUR RIGHTS IN REGARDS TO WHETHER YOU WISH TO OR DON'T WISH TO TALK TO ANYONE. AFTER THE TRIAL IS CONCLUDED, OFTENTIMES THE LAWYERS LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE CASE TO GET INPUT FROM YOU AS TO WHAT OCCURRED DURING THE TRIAL. IT'S UP TO YOU WHETHER YOU TALK TO THE LAWYERS ABOUT THE CASE. I AM OBLIGATED TO TELL YOU THAT ANY UNREASONABLE CONTACT BY A LAWYER, WHETHER IT'S DEFENSE OR PROSECUTION, WITH A JUROR IS IMPROPER, AND YOU SHOULD INFORM THE COURT IMMEDIATELY OF ANY SUCH UNREASONABLE CONTACT. TO ASSIST YOU IN ANY CONTACT WITH COUNSEL, IF YOU WANT TO SPEAK WITH COUNSEL, THE COURT WILL PROVIDE THE COURTROOM FOR THAT PURPOSE A LITTLE LATER TODAY, IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO THE LAWYERS ABOUT THE CASE. IT'S AGAIN UP TO YOU IN THAT REGARD. ALSO, THE COURT UNDER SECTION 237 OF THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SEALS THE PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION ABOUT YOU, YOUR NAMES AND ADDRESSES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE. HOWEVER, I CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT YOUR IDENTITY IS NOT KNOWN TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE COURTROOM. IT'S POSSIBLE THAT THE PUBLIC, THE PRESS, KNOW SOME OF YOUR NAMES AND KNOW HOW TO LOCATE YOU OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM. IT'S UP TO YOU WHETHER YOU TALK TO THE PRESS OR THE PUBLIC ABOUT THIS MATTER. THAT'S YOUR DECISION. NO ONE CAN FORCE TO YOU DO THAT. IT'S A DECISION YOU MUST MAKE ON YOUR OWN. IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO SPEAK WITH THE PRESS, AGAIN, WE WILL MAKE THE COURTROOM AVAILABLE FOR THAT PURPOSE THIS AFTERNOON, IF YOU WANT TO SPEAK WITH THE PRESS ABOUT THIS CASE. IT'S YOUR DECISION. IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO SPEAK WITH THE PRESS, WE WILL HAVE SOMEBODY FROM THE COURT INFORMATION OFFICE ASSIST YOU, AND SHE WILL SPEAK WITH YOU ABOUT THE SPECIFICS OF ANY INTERVIEWS THAT MIGHT BE CONDUCTED. I SHOULD ALERT YOU, HOWEVER, THAT IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO SPEAK HERE TO THE PRESS, IT'S ALWAYS POSSIBLE THAT THE PRESS MIGHT FIND YOU SOMEWHERE ELSE AND TRY TO SPEAK WITH YOU ABOUT THE CASE, WHEREVER IT IS. AGAIN, IT'S YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU SPEAK WITH ANYONE OR NO ONE ABOUT THE CASE. THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT I HAVE TO TELL YOU. I ALSO AM GOING TO GIVE YOU A COPY OF ANOTHER CODE SECTION THAT I SPOKE TO YOU ABOUT DURING THE EARLY STAGE OF THE TRIAL WHEN I GAVE YOU INITIAL INSTRUCTIONS ON THE CASE, PENAL CODE SECTION 116.5. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT YOU READ ALL OF THESE AT SOME POINT TO ASSIST YOU IN YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS A JUROR AND YOUR RIGHTS AS A JUROR ONCE YOU'RE EXCUSED FROM THIS CASE. AGAIN, MY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO SEE YOU BACK HERE. I HOPE THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS JURORS HAS BEEN ONE THAT WOULD CAUSE YOU TO WANT TO COME BACK AND DO IT AGAIN. MAYBE NOT. MAYBE NOT THIS YEAR, BUT MAYBE IN THE FUTURE. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. AND WE WILL ASK THAT YOU GO BACK -- I APOLOGIZE FOR ALL THIS SHEPHERDING YOU AROUND LIKE THIS -- BUT I WOULD ASK THAT YOU GO BACK INTO THE JURY ROOM. WE WILL CLEAR THE COURTROOM, AND THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO TALK TO THE LAWYERS, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO THAT HERE IN THE COURTROOM, AND THEN YOU WILL BE AT THE DIRECTION OF THE BAILIFF AS TO YOUR EXIT. THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.

(THE JURY EXITS THE COURTROOM AND THE FOLLOWING PROCEEDINGS WERE HELD:)

THE COURT: ALL RIGHT. AS FAR AS POST-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS. ANY PARTICULAR DATE THAT YOU HAVE IN MIND?

MS. ABRAMSON: YES, YOUR HONOR. WE WOULD LIKE SUBSTANTIAL TIME IN ANTICIPATION OF PREPARING A MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL, AND BECAUSE SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE OUT-OF-TOWN OBLIGATIONS, WE ARE ASKING FOR WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26TH.

MR. GESSLER: I WOULD JOIN IN THAT, YOUR HONOR, IF THAT'S AVAILABLE TO THE COURT.

MS. ABRAMSON: I THINK IT WILL BE MORE THAN A ONE-DAY PROCEEDING, SO THAT'S WHY I AM ASKING TO SET IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK.

THE COURT: AS FAR AS THE LENGTH OF THE CONTINUANCE, DO THE PEOPLE HAVE ANY PROBLEM WITH THAT GENERAL TIME FRAME? AS FAR AS THE SPECIFIC DATE, THAT MIGHT BE A PROBLEM FOR ME.

MR. CONN: NO.

THE COURT: OKAY. THAT MIGHT BE A PROBLEM FOR ME THAT WEEK, SO EITHER THE FOLLOWING WEEK -- FIRST WEEK IN JULY OR THE SECOND WEEK IN JULY.

MS. ABRAMSON: THAT'S FINE.

MR. GESSLER: I WILL HAVE TO POSTPONE MY JURY SERVICE A DAY OR TWO, I THINK.

MS. ABRAMSON: HE WAS GOING TO GET ON A CASE, WE KNOW THAT. THE FOLLOWING WEEK IS FINE, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: JULY THE 1ST IS A MONDAY.

MS. ABRAMSON: COULD WE MAKE IT THE TUESDAY?

THE COURT: TUESDAY, OKAY. IS THAT AGREEABLE WITH EVERYBODY, RECOGNIZING THE 4TH IS A THURSDAY, WHICH WE WOULDN'T -- WHICH IS A LEGAL HOLIDAY?

MR. GESSLER: THE 2ND IS FINE WITH US, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: JULY THE 2ND FOR MOTIONS AND SENTENCING. THE COURT ORDERS A PROBATION REPORT AS TO EACH DEFENDANT. EACH DEFENDANT HAS A RIGHT TO BE SENTENCED WITHIN 20 DAYS OF TODAY'S DATE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT RIGHT, LYLE MENENDEZ?

DEFENDANT LYLE MENENDEZ: YES, I DO.

THE COURT: DO YOU GIVE UP THAT RIGHT AND AGREE THAT YOUR SENTENCING WILL BE ON THE 2ND OF JULY?

DEFENDANT LYLE MENENDEZ: I DO, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT RIGHT, ERIK MENENDEZ?

DEFENDANT ERIK MENENDEZ: YES, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: DO YOU AGREE THAT YOUR SENTENCING WILL BE ON THE 2ND OF JULY?

DEFENDANT ERIK MENENDEZ: YES, YOUR HONOR.

THE COURT: OKAY. THEN EACH DEFENDANT IS REMANDED WITHOUT BAIL, AND ORDERED TO RETURN ON JULY THE 2ND FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS. ALL RIGHT. COURT IS IN RECESS.

(AT 3:35 P.M., PROCEEDINGS WERE ADJOURNED UNTIL JULY 2, 1996)

-----
Brought to you by - The 'Lectric Law Library
The Net's Finest Legal Resource For Legal Pros & Laypeople Alike.
http://www.lectlaw.com

Google+


Share
Additional Info
Additional Info

Follow Us!



Our Most Popular Article:
Power of Attorney
Our Most Popular Page:
Free Legal Forms
Our Newest Article: Personal Finance Guide