Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 21, 2013

Trail & acquittal of Lisa Gilliam to be highlighted on TV tonight

(Continued)

Somerset —

“Our case took an extremely rare turn — literally, there were other lawyers who had never heard of this before and didn’t think it was possible,” said Foster.
“We tried it in September to a jury; after three days of hearing evidence, they retired to deliberate and came back ... and said they could not reach a verdict,” he continued. “They got what is called the ‘Allen Charge’ and were told to go back and deliberate again.”
The “Allen Charge” is a strong reminder from a judge to a jury of the importance of reaching a verdict given the time and resources put into the trial by those involved and that beliefs aren’t the same as careful examination of evidence. Yet despite this warning from the bench, the jury came back without a verdict a second time.
“At that point, the judge had to dismiss them,” said Foster. “When he did that, it created the rare circumstance where (we were) allowed to move for a direct verdict of acquittal.”
The defense attorneys did just that, within three days of the jury’s dismissal, and the judge eventually granted that motion.
The case captured the attention of the producers of “Snapped,” who quickly reached out to the Somerset defense team, still celebrating the big victory.
Crew members with “Snapped” made the trip to Somerset and London in November to gather information for the show. Foster and Norfleet, as well as paralegal Gena Southerland and attorney Ryan Morrow, who was a witness in the case, were interviewed. 

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