Jury asks questions during deliberations in Jordan Miles civil trial

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The eight-member jury in the Jordan Miles civil trial deliberated throughout Friday and will return Monday to continue its effort to reach a verdict.

The jurors asked U.S. District Judge David Cercone if they could have two small sections of the 11-day trial transcript read to them. Both were cross-examinations by attorney James Wymard, who represents Pittsburgh police Officer David Sisak, one of the three officers accused of false arrest and excessive force.

In one section read to the jury, the plaintiff’s mother, Terez Miles, described phone conversations she had with her mother, Patricia Porter, from 11 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010, until midnight. During that hour, she became aware of Mr. Miles’ arrest. She remained home until morning, when she went Downtown to try to retrieve him from the Allegheny County Jail.

The jury also asked to hear a portion of the cross-examination of Mr. Miles by defense attorney James Wymard.

“OK, you remember one of the officers saying to you, ‘Where do you live?’ ” Mr. Wymard asked in that portion of the testimony.

“Yes, sir,” said Mr. Miles.

“And that’s when [an officer] asked you, ‘What are you doing sneaking around that house?’ is that correct?” Mr. Wymard asked Mr. Miles, a few seconds later.

Mr. Miles denied that he was asked that question.

That piece of cross-examination became a centerpiece of the closing argument of defense attorney Bryan Campbell on Thursday. Mr. Campbell said that Mr. Miles never before confirmed that the officers asked him where he lived.

The officers have said they made it clear that they were police and asked Mr. Miles questions including where he lived. Mr. Miles has in the past said that they demanded money, guns and drugs, and attacked him without saying anything else.

Mr. Campbell characterized as a “come-to-Jesus moment” Mr. Miles’ confirmation that he was asked “Where do you live?”

“He basically admitted the story he’s told everybody for four years wasn’t true,” Mr. Campbell said Thursday.

The defense seemed buoyed by the question. The jury, though, did not reach a verdict.

Mr. Campbell represents Officer Michael Saldutte, a defendant along with Officer Sisak and Officer Richard Ewing.

A jury in 2012 deliberated for 41⁄2 days before determining that it was deadlocked on the two counts.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord. First Published March 28, 2014 2:17 PM


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