Bonusgate juror's blog post prompts mistrial request

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HARRISBURG -- Three days after his client's conviction in the Bonusgate government corruption case, a Carlisle attorney is seeking a mistrial based on a blog post by a juror who described a mid-trial visit to the Capitol.

In a motion filed this morning, Michael O. Palermo, attorney for Annamarie Perretta-Rosepink, said it is improper for jurors to view places related to crimes they are adjudicating unless under "the security and protection of the court."

In the blog post, which was written after the verdict was rendered, juror Jonathan Smith indicated that some of the jurors visited the Capitol after lunch one day during the trial.

"After all, the Capitol was at the center of this whole case. We wanted to see this place. Actually, we wanted to see room 626, which was talked about so much during the trial," he wrote.


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The jurors never made it to room 626, which had been described as a de facto campaign office complete with machines for folding election literature.

Reached by phone this morning, Mr. Smith confirmed he wrote the blog post but declined to comment on it.

Mr. Palermo called the jurors' lunchtime visit "especially egregious" and said it renders the verdict unconstitutional.

He is asking Dauphin County Judge Richard A. Lewis to declare a mistrial.

Jurors Monday found Mrs. Perretta-Rosepink guilty of five criminal counts, former state Rep. Mike Veon guilty of 14 and former legislative aide Brett Cott guilty of three. A fourth defendant, Stephen Keefer, was acquitted.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tracie Mauriello: Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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