LOS ANGELES – Attorneys for convicted Hollywood private investigator Anthony Pellicano filed a motion for a new trial on Monday, claiming there were several instances of juror misconduct in his wiretapping trial.
At least four jurors talked about the case without other jurors present and one juror knew about a witness who was expected to testify because her husband read a blog tracking the trial, his attorneys said.
"We think that there were several instances of serious jury misconduct during the trial in this case," said attorney Steven Gruel, who is representing the 64-year-old former private eye on a limited basis. "A new trial is the only way to remedy the uncertainties created by the misconduct."
Federal prosecutors declined to comment about the filing because they hadn't seen the motion.
Pellicano was convicted of 76 of 77 counts last month for wiretapping the phones of such stars as Sylvester Stallone on behalf of his clients and paying police officers to access protected government databases. Four other co-defendants also were found guilty of various charges.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24. Pellicano and attorney Terry Christensen are scheduled to stand trial next month in another wiretap case.
Pellicano became aware of the alleged juror misconduct after one of the female jurors approached a defense attorney about "her concerns about the verdicts," the motion said.
Most notable was that the juror claims the forewoman heard Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Saunders use the word "perjury" after he had cross-examined Pellicano co-defendant Mark Arneson, but she failed to speak up when asked by U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer if anyone else had heard the comment, court documents show.
Arneson's attorney, Chad Hummel, had requested a motion for a mistrial following Saunders' remark, but Fischer denied the request.
Pellicano's attorneys also assert some jurors were biased, including a man who told others that he didn't "trust the defendants as far as he could throw them."
The motion also said at least four jurors deliberated as they commuted to and from the courthouse.