Juror in Kevin Quick Murder Trial Speaks Out
One of the jurors selected for the Kevin Quick murder trial is providing a different perspective of the federal racketeering and murder case.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One of the jurors selected for the Kevin Quick murder trial is talking about what went on behind the scenes. Phil Giaramita is providing a different perspective of the federal racketeering and murder case. He opens up about his experience from the compromised list of people's personal information to what happened behind closed doors in the trial in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville.
A total of 16 men and women thought they would be deliberating the fate of six alleged gang members charged in connection with the death of Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Quick, but instead they were sent home. Tuesday, federal Judge Glen Conrad declared a mistrial after a list of jurors ended up in the hands of one of the defendants and was circulated around a jail.
Giaramita says, looking back a week and a half ago when he first showed up for jury summoning, he never imagined this case would end so unusually and abruptly. He says it was business as usual when he reported for jury duty. He'd never served on a jury before and did not expect to be picked for the final group. But, he was chosen to determine if the defendants were responsible for a racketeering conspiracy and the murder of Capt. Quick.
Giaramita says the first thing that came to his mind when he was selected as juror number three in this high-profile case was, "I'll make a decision that might affect them for the rest of their lives."
“The weight of the responsibility just settles upon you and you just suddenly think, ‘I'm a part of something that's very much more important than my own personal consideration,'” he stated.
He says from the beginning of the trial, things moved slowly. "An hour was, appeared to be like five hours…and 10 minutes like 40 minutes. I mean - the time - you had to come up with different ways to fill your time that had nothing to do with why you were in that spot."
With so much time to burn, each juror had to fight to keep quiet about the case or its details. “The temptation to not talk about that - when that was the reason why the 16 strangers were together - was a fairly difficult one," he stated.
Right when the trial seemed to be gaining traction, he says that's when a bombshell hit. Jurors received letters that a defendant had obtained a list of their names and information and made copies of it in jail.
Giaramita says it caused alarm. "It does raise a lot of questions in your mind. What does this mean? Why am I getting this letter? When he says the defendant had the information overnight, what information? What did they do with it? So I think every juror had legitimate concern about that.”
Before the federal judge granted the last two motions for mistrial in the case, each juror met privately with council and the judge for questioning. He says he was one of 12 jurors who said they felt they could continue on with the case despite the list of information getting out.
Despite all of the complexities of the case, Giaramita says he was more concerned with his civic duty. "My focus was on doing the best job that I could."
Now that the trial is over, Giaramita says being a part of the process and on the jury panel was certainly a once in a lifetime experience he wouldn't take back.