The jury's unprecedented 11-day deliberations in the murder trial of Irina Malinovskaya ended with the majority angry that they could not reach a unanimous guilty verdict, one juror said in an interview this week.
Juror Jacob Harrison, who voted to convict the Wharton undergraduate for bludgeoning to death her ex-lover's girlfriend, said most jurors expressed frustration with the outcome and believe Malinovskaya should be tried a fourth time.
The jury voted 10-to-2 in favor of conviction for first-degree murder and 8-to-4 for second-degree murder. Malinovskaya was convicted for tampering with physical evidence.
Harrison said the mistrial boiled down to "personality issues" within the jury.
The two jurors who voted not guilty wanted more direct evidence, he said. Harrison added that one focused on details that others found insignificant.
"People you wouldn't even think could get angry got angry," he said.
The 10 jurors in favor of conviction - who continue to meet and e-mail - believed the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Malinovskaya's guilt.
The deadlock was the third hung jury in the case, but Harrison still said he wants Delaware-state prosecutors to retry Malinovskaya another time.
Lead prosecutor Paul Wallace would not comment on the possibility of a fourth trial and would also not say when the state would make a decision.
Though fourth trials are rare, legal experts say it remains a very real possibility considering the amount of resources the prosecution has already devoted to the case and the fact that this jury leaned more in their favor.
The first trial ended in a 11-to-1 vote for acquittal, whereas the second deadlocked at 6-to-6.
Harrison - who did not learn about the way past juries voted until after the trial - said he was surprised to see that they leaned closer to acquittal.
He said the jury's visit to the crime scene made a big impact on the decision of many jurors.
Past juries had never visited the site, the apartment of the victim's boyfriend, Robert Bondar.
"It's the dimensions of the place that gives meaning to this whole thing," Harrison said. "You can't conceptualize it without being there."
He also said Malinovskaya's unconvincing testimony, her lies to investigators and her obsession with the victim's boyfriend, Robert Bondar, were some of the jury's main considerations.
"There was no smoking gun," Harrison said. "It was the cumulation of evidence that was convincing."
One of the defense's main arguments was the absence of physical DNA evidence linking Malinovskaya to the murder.
But the 10 jurors in favor of conviction believed that all the evidence pointed to a clean-up of the crime scene and the car Malinovskaya rented in the days preceding the murder.
Harrison added that he and most of the other jurors did not find Malinovskaya believable on the stand.
"I think it was a mistake for her to even testify in her own defense," he said. "It looked like she really didn't care."
Legal experts say the deliberations were some of the longest in recent Delaware history, and the jurors spent most of the time simply reviewing evidence.
"We went over that evidence with a fine-tooth comb," he said. "It got to the point where we reviewed so much that everyone was dizzy."
He said the deliberations ultimately boiled down to the last three days.
"We're still trying to decompress," Harrison said. "I'd like to see justice done, and the only way to have that done is to have a fourth trial."Comments powered by Disqus
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