Unacquitted Love,

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From an October meeting held during the trial of Paul Bellar, Joseph Morrison, and Pete Musico in Michigan’s Fourth Circuit Court. The men were accused of assisting in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

judge thomas wilson: Counsel, you asked for an in-chambers meeting.

prosecutor: Since the start of the trial, there’s been non-verbal communication between one of the jurors, who’s a female, and Mr. Bellar. The communication has been in the form of eye contact, smiling at each other. Today when we were at sidebar, this was occurring again. And, in fact, Mr. Bellar had a physical response: he clenched both his fists and shook them in an affirmative way. We’re very concerned about this juror.

defense attorney 1: Just so the court’s aware, the shaking of the fists? It was because of Skittles. During the sidebar, I was talking to your clerk and I was asking for some candy. She said, “Does your client want some Skittles?” Because, guess what? It’s his birthday today. I showed Mr. Bellar the Skittles from the corner, and Mr. Bellar said, “You got me some Skittles!” That’s what that was about.

Now listen: I’m an officer of the court. I’m not gonna say things on the record that aren’t true. I have noticed her kind of looking over here. I had a conversation with my client regarding it. He knows! But they haven’t spoken outside of this and he’s not doing anything to her to encourage her. If she’s got an issue, she’s got an issue, but I don’t think that’s a basis to get rid of this juror.

But again, I will not deny that there have been a couple of times when she looked at him. I can’t say what that’s about. Maybe she likes him, maybe she doesn’t like him. Maybe she’s this, maybe she’s that. There’s no way of telling what’s in her mind.

judge wilson: As time has gone by, I’ve seen her looking at your client. I’ve looked over quick enough to see him looking right at her. And a number of times I’ve seen smiles come on her face. Not great big smiles, but more of a small smirk.

defense attorney 2: May I just add that yesterday we heard about girlfriend after girlfriend of Paul Bellar. One girlfriend he had a date with, and they spent the night together—and it was their first date! I looked at him and laughed after that testimony.