TOLEDO (WTOL) - Tom Noe is currently serving out a 27-month federal sentence for making illegal contributions to President Bush's 2004 campaign. After that, the local coin dealer is to serve an 18-year sentence for stealing from a state investment fund.
But now, Noe wants the court to give him what he says he's a owed -- a new trial based on jury misconduct.
"The thing that mainly concerns me is that they felt they had to make a decision quickly," says Legal Expert Jerry Phillips.
The motion stems from what the 2006 jury foreman wrote last month.
James Petiniot told Noe's attorney, 'I, and the rest of the jury, felt overwhelmed by the numerous exhibits that we were expected to go through. We were confused.'
"The jurors were told, if they had questions, they could have asked the judge questions. If they felt they needed more time to deliberate, they could have gotten more time," Phillips says.
Petinoit claimed jurors felt obligated to convict. In his statement, he wrote, 'I was convinced that the state had not presented evidence to establish Mr. Noe's guilt, but voted guilty just to end the deliberations.'
"He still voted," says Phillips, "You took an oath. Why would you do that?"
Phillips did not work on Noe's case, but tells us jury misconduct that tainted a trial is hard to prove. "Probably in cases like this where it's a very complicated case -- a lot of evidence, a lot of publicity -- there is some pressure. There always is."
He says jurors have been known to come forward about concerns when they see follow-ups on a case.
Petinoit even admitted he came forward after he heard the state made a profit on its investments in the coin funds.