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Jurors Agree With Dismissal of Bribery Trial

Jurors Agree With Dismissal of Bribery Trial

Posted - Dec. 5, 2003 at 3:43 p.m.



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Keith McCord ReportingIn terms of being high profile, the Olympic Bribery case was clearly one of Utah's biggest. And for members of the jury, 14 in all, it was a huge opportunity and responsibility.

This morning the trial ended and jurors didn't have to make a decision, but KSL's Keith McCord spoke with several about what their decision would likely have been.

Juror Kristin Everett shows a certificate she received from US District Court today, marking her service as a juror. She's glad it's over.

Kristen Everett, Juror: "It was actually a little bit of a relief that we didn't have to make the decision."

Since October 24, the jury has absorbed facts, figures and testimony as the prosecution outlined its case against Dave Johnson and Tom Welch.

The jurors KSL-TV spoke with: Jim Gunderson, Mike Wallgren, Mark Coombs, Jonathan Kilgore, and Linda Jardine all said they would have voted for acquittal. The jurors admit they didn't agree with all the methods that Johnson and Welch used in getting the Olympic bid, but said the prosecution didn't prove its case.

Mark Coombs, Juror: "I thought that the defendants were scapegoats for something that happened a long time ago, and they were just doing business."

Several of the jurors expressed that opinion. And the one's we spoke with supported judge David Sam's ruling.

Jonathan Kilgore, Juror: “You know, there was a lot of holes on both sides of the case. I support the decision. Judge Sam was a great man. And I stand behind his decision."

Since the scandal broke there have been many opinions about whether this ever should have gone to trial. The jurors made no bones about that.

Jim Gunderson, Juror: "Yes, it was a waste of time and a waste of money. And I just feel like the judge made the right decision."

Mark Coombs, Juror: "Totally. I would love to know what this cost everybody. I'd love to know what the prosecution spent on this case."

As for other juror observations, one said he thought the federal prosecutors were "pushy" in the way they worked. Another said he noticed Judge Sam's growing impatience as the trial progressed. Ad another said he hoped the trial in some way helps to clean up the Olympics selection process.

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