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Potential Juror’s Misconduct Leads to Mistrial in William Gregory Double-Murder Case

| October 11, 2010

william gregory

William Gregory's mug shots at the time of his imprisonment on murder charges in 2007. (FCSO)

The prosecution and the defense spent all of last week whittling a pool of 100 jurors down to 12 to hear the trial of William Gregory, the 27-year-old accused of murdering an ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in Flagler Beach in 2007.

This morning, before hearing the first arguments, Circuit Judge Kim C. Hammond declared a mistrial. Several members of the victims’ families and friends streamed out of the courtroom in tears.

One of the potential jurors who had been dismissed on Friday spoke inappropriately, in front of the jury pool, about his relationship with a finger-printing firm, and said that he was dismissed because the prosecution would love him but the defense would not. One of the jurors who had been seated made a call to the court on Friday, after hours, to describe the incident. The juror left a voice mail that wasn’t heard until this morning.

The judge brought up the call this morning. The juror described it. Hammond ordered a recess. When the judge returned, he asked that the courtroom be cleared of everyone, visitors, family and press included. The defense and the prosecution conferred with the judge. Ten minutes later, the courtroom was re-opened, the jury returned, and the judge, after profuse apologies to the jury, declared a mistrial.

A new jury pool will have to be called in, and the slog through that pool will begin. The process was so laborious last week that both sides ended up accepting the minimum of 12 jurors, without alternates, just to get the trial going. That’s a risk since, if anything were to happen to any of the jurors, the trial would be aborted.

We reported earlier that jury selection would re-start next Monday: that’s not the case. A date was not set.

garry wood palatka attorney putnam county william gredory murder trial

Garry Wood

Gregory is accused of sneaking into the house where his ex-girlfriend, Skyler Meekins, was sleeping with her boyfriend, Daniel Dyer, early the morning of Aug. 21, 2007. Gregory allegedly murdered them both with a shotgun that was in the house. Meekins was 17. She’d broken off her relationship with Gregory after dating him for two years. Dyer was 22. They were in Skyler’s grandparents’ house in Flagler Beach when the murders took place. Gregory and Skyler had a 1-year-old daughter, Kyla, together.

The mistrial is only the latest in a troubled progression. Gregory’s first attorney, Assistant Public Defender Matt Phillips, originally delayed the trial, citing overwork. Phillips then begged off, citing a conflict of interest. That was in June 2009. Two other attorneys took on the case, and then withdrew, again citing conflicts of interest. Hammond finally assigned Garry Wood, a Palatka attorney who’d spent a dozen years with the Putnam County State Attorney’s office, to Gregory’s defense.

Assistant State Attorney Chris France is prosecuting the case.

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7 Responses for “Potential Juror’s Misconduct Leads to Mistrial in William Gregory Double-Murder Case”

  1. starfyre says:

    i pray for his forgiveness from the courts

  2. John Smith says:

    What the hell are you talking about starfyre, The only thing that will forgive him will be the electric chair. This pathetic piece of _____ deserves just what he is going to get.

  3. Haw Creek Girl says:

    Too bad because I think “Hang ’em High” Hammond would have done a superb job on this one! Not sure about Zambrano, seems a little flaky but he did prosecute the Xbox murders very zealously so maybe he will excel at the criminal docket.

  4. leeloo says:

    you all make me sick. what the hell is wrong with you people. its not your place to judge anyone. i don’t think he did it .

  5. butterfly223 says:

    Unless u know him. Don’t judge. I knew him…. Idk if he did and and niether do any of u. But god will be hos jugde

  6. nena says:

    Unfortunetly we live on earth and the people who r going to judge r the jurors in court….It sad and lets be respectful of the real victim which is the child!!

  7. Laura Cassady says:

    To everyone talking bad about wiliam.. u need to stop he didnt do, just think if it was someone u loved, would u say that about ur family member. I DONT THINK SO!!!!!!!!!! I know William and I know he didnt do… Its not fair that they only are looking at him. They need to find the real killer and charge him and let William GO.

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