WWL>Topics>>2-18-14 3:10pm Angela: with three Nagin jurors

2-18-14 3:10pm Angela: with three Nagin jurors

Feb 18, 2014|

Angela talks about the Nagin verdict with three jurors from the trial: Bridgett LeBlanc, Jaune Eichhorn, and Elaine Maizell.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well it was a two week trial that brought attention to New Orleans once again as a play should have to pay to play to do business. Ray Nagin was found guilty on twenty of 21 counts of bribery and tax of nation. But it was the attention by the twelve jurors and four alternates that mattered most. This was a complex trial with 26 witnesses for the prosecution. Alone. And the fate of the man who served as eight years as mayor of New Orleans was in their hands. Today we will talk for the next hour with two of the jurors and one of the alternates about the process and the decision. And what it was like to be part of history. Joining us is Richard LeBlanc juror number six and the foreperson of -- John I I corn juror number nine. And Elaine myself one of the four alternates and I really truly appreciate you all being here. You lived and breathed this for so long and you probably thing close the chapter and we're still just continuing to call. But it was that this was a very big thing and I kept saying that today this is history opt for a new world. It was raining in its decision. That led to his conviction was his decisions. That led to his conviction. But did you all feel sort of the weight of knowing that your decision. -- -- -- -- Yes I definitely did umbrage at. We knew that the man's life was our hands and it took a lot a lot of deliberating between the twelve jurors a lot of Reading of the material. Look at the documents. That credit card receipts that just everything it was just enormous amounts of information. And we wanted to take it slowly. Make sure that we made the right decision and that we didn't rush into anything and the twelve jurors that we had were all very intelligent very attentive. Very -- caring as you really do care mean it's an important situation. A very important to -- us. I agree with. -- that's just me. It was a very hard decision. Knowing that we could put them in bars. But ultimately it was his. Decision to duties. Wrongful things. And evidence doesn't -- And that's ultimately came down -- We did try. To find evidence that pointed elsewhere is non -- By the prosecution. -- Their -- and grow and was very prepared yes and we were definitely told to go in there with the mindset that he is innocent. And truly am pretty I know why did a 100% he was innocent in my in my dies. But the evidence I guess that was just way too powerful. You know that was sort of my next question. If you could put into one word what your thought was on Ray Nagin the very first day. And in another -- what was the -- you're left with those words but he. That first day was like could you really did goodness you know I mean. You really don't expect anybody to do that much room. And and you find out different united. All the evidence points towards him. And you're just overwhelmed with evident. Right he uses. His status as mayor to manipulate. Contracts. His his whole defense was at these were not bribes that this was literally investments. Into here's the stone executes that teach kids the grown sons business. What made you believe that wants it. -- that that was that it wasn't just an investment well I think it's because he was a public figure. And he -- -- yet and you know -- hostesses. New mayor rape me in and I'm looking to him -- my silence contract with Home Depot. What on whoever it may be but he definitely used his title. Yeah and tonight he also hit he had investment in stone right yes and to me it was kind of like. The same goes you scratch my back I'll scratch yours. You help me out help you and that's how the connections kind of got it together and as soon as the money's came in from from Rodney Williams. -- got the million dollar contract to do the sidewalk repair. It was just too much of a coincidence. On the charge that was on that was number seven it was found not guilty that was the money that. Went to the silence and directly came right should we could not find any evidence that Ray Nagin cashed that check. We look through everything right and even the FBI says it was the -- money trail. And there wasn't so we're really the evidence showed that. But he didn't. He wasn't associated aide admitted that he knew about alone. 7000. I think he says. By there was no money trail. And we looked and we looked and we -- -- and hunted through all the documents the paper we could not find any proof. That he he had anything to do with the ten pounds and so we cannot find him guilty count. How did you keep everything straight. It was such a volume of information. Act cute little notebook thing you know. She has been open head yes you little notes and how little black ink pen it's our city not invite. A lot of evidence whereas it was repeated over and over again. And like you need to go back of your notes and UC HE -- had written. Yeah I was very repetitive in many times and you know they read to you with all of a projection screen. And it was there every minute of the day for 89 hours -- day. But they had to do that. Yes. For their case exactly yeah it would be easy to forget things because it was so much so that we -- that we had the notes. -- book to write down notes did you ever find when you were back in having lunch or something. Did you talk about the case launch now don't ever not to matter alone ever -- -- people over here there are people everywhere. But knowing that they said he could not discuss it other than in the jury room. Because you didn't want people over here number one and you you couldn't have people persuade your feelings. You know I'm saying they didn't want us talking about it in the jury room until we deliberated right exactly so really what happened in return. Is that we all became friends. All right Eckstein about how good are we -- talk about it was a yeah yeah we talked about our children our husbands how wise a family my job I jobs for our and it doesn't work and that may well. If any. Law from our flow was buried generous and Nancy and me -- -- very eyes -- the -- that and that is a chunk of time minute commute via her -- three weeks I never dreamed it would be that long. But I have to say. Initially. Like the judge said she -- like. A summary in the beginning a time when most people get some -- don't wanna do it they look for every excuse they don't have time. And that's their richer until -- -- -- and I felt exactly how you read that paper. But honestly I'm glad I did -- learn the line and I even had a neighbor girl he called me he said I think it's really cool that you're on that jury. As that are really think about it -- it's history in the making me as you know I never thought about it like that and I changed definitely right after -- -- After serving now now that I look back on you even know I was. Part cussing halfway now you can walk into the cold running like they always lead them drop and stop. But now now look back in -- definitely was a positive experience thing I want everyone to stay with us we're gonna continue to talk to the up. The people that really made the call for Ray Nagin and if you have any questions or thoughts don't hesitate to give us a call 260187. I'm Angela on WWL. And you mentioned what it was like if if you had been on the jury for the reigning in case. Well we're talking to two jurors and one of the alternates. About that experience that was it was really history making. Before we get back to our questions we have some callers. Let's get doctor Littleton from applause. Hey Aaron here Mario on Wednesday where it. -- I've been distant very user past thirty years of -- Four. I'm concerned -- -- the doubles Staten. Oh with a -- fact that. Everybody. Should be equal sharing law that I'm sorry that. I think it -- ask what specifically do you mean you think in the -- -- case. There was a Darlington. And and and general as a rubber stamp that. If you if you black -- other good news is -- -- not practice trying everybody to have this kind of the paper. Said that most spam is what our concerns are. I'm gonna have to disagree with that and and we can that's another whole show her and I would love to have you on the and we do have but I think that. I'm not been on -- -- before the the person as an African American he was found not -- I think something very real happens when you get on -- -- you can think walking in one thing but if you're really. Really honest with yourself can understand. How important it is to be fair to really listen to everything. Yes yes after Littleton. I have to say honestly that race did not play a part. At all in this I never even looked at him as being a black man. At all. Or not not at all none I am -- -- like I am probably the least. Prejudiced person on earth. I could care less what color anyone he has. We started this case out as snag as in a sense. Until proven guilty and I personally tried to keep him on the innocent side until that day evidences was just too overwhelming and too too powerful. To look the other way. Let me ask you live on the North Shore yes and the alternate our wonderful alternate here all the way to Frankfurt and it's a pleasure heart and certainly if you -- -- new world but. Did the people who didn't live in New Orleans directly. -- have an understanding of what how people might have a lot of rain. Yes. Yes. On base Thornton the incidences with Katrina. In the comments that he had made. Com. Yeah of course but it's still didn't make me thinking different. When they came to trial. I mean he -- been right and yet he still used to use his power. To get what he wanted. And I can honestly say not one time during this whole entire process that anyone ever say. He's black or anything race was never. Ever spoke. Went out Ray Nagin said on the stand. When -- understand there were different comments from people that he was charming that he was funny at times that he was arrogant. What were your thoughts. On his time on the stand. I thought that he was an extremely. Nice dressed man here with -- beautiful clothes beautiful shoes everything very very polished and very well groomed. I just personally thought that he didn't answer questions directly. I think that hurt him. Yes he was humorous at times we all -- we out chocolate that some of the things he said. I didn't really find him like sarcastic or anything like that I tried to listen to everything -- sand. Had a job feel girls I don't. I capture Iranian contradict itself in and there's like six different times party -- it -- out. And then I'm hurting two out three. Out lies. And you're just and you're right in August down you know taking an -- and he can't lead these united. Mormon Mitt so where he's done wrong right I think it was selective. Memory there were some things and he couldn't even remember. How he got to Chicago. Or New York -- he doesn't know what kind of plane and it but yet he remembered frank Fidel -- at the US capitol for a function. -- -- -- So things like that. It was in the and he did even recognize when they showed a picture of stone age. Was which tree was adorned the one in harm's streets via pop and he is head a different name point he's like -- I don't know if that's it. But he knew he'd been there so is that things like that that he was blatantly denying. That just. Discredited him he just tap danced around a lot of questions I think if you as answer directly yes or no. I think it would have been a lot better for him. Toward the end when he was being. Talked to by the prosecution. Again not having been there and just reading newspaper accounts there was a sense that he was becoming comfortable. Yes he did fidget a little better you cavity and comparable Mac home and was I think getting to him Matt komen was a brilliant. Awesome I cannot say enough about their prosecution team. I said before I was in total all with the brilliance the professionalism. They were just wonderful -- and great they knew exactly. What they had to do that in as evidence in line on the it was totally organized oh yeah organizes a statement. They had evidence to back up evident. And David you know they say about itself slacks where we see evidence and it was just totally overwhelmed and what I particularly really admired was the fact that they can answer anything they never got flustered. He was cool calm. This brilliant man they did their homework. I want everyone to stay with this I'm so glad that we have some callers please stay on the line we're gonna take a break for news and join -- names. Bridget LeBlanc John -- Michael -- and Elaine minds at all. We're jurors and alternates for the Ray -- trial we're getting some. Wonderful insights to what they went through we also have some callers and we're gonna start with those let's start with Caron. -- -- Aren't right you're doing great. And what in either -- canyon are here. And contractor. He built. -- in. A what's gonna happen in -- Yes all of them had done get a plea bargain which they are pleading guilty to it and so they all have their consequences they had to pay fourteen yeah I believe I read in the newspaper that they got time. No I don't think of sentences I think what they won't be sentenced until. Able after that the child. And then the judge there judge will decide right but -- they will get a a life sentence yes that Greg has -- -- efforts that evening that's right but I don't think it's been determined yet now but also very good question. I might. Wonder once these contractors had already pled guilty hit already said we're going to testify already said we gave bribes. -- find the defendant. I would have been curled in the corner. In a ball number one but I really would have looked at that sent what is my chance -- I have 45 people saying this is what. It is his right it is absolutely his right to stand trial ended that the defense the defense. Use the the nation then. Are they credible. And if -- -- -- accepting a plea bargain of course they gonna say what ever is that gonna say. But for Roddy Williams he only got charged with poverty. Why plead guilty to bribery if that's the only thing that you -- Let me ask you look at some of the people who came in to testify. One man -- particular -- tea presents it to my -- him on the ground at her and others in suits did it make a difference visually when you would see someone walk up. Was clearly a prisoner he is in jail for something totally non related to this. But what did that say. I believe he was in jail for. Embezzling money yeah mortgage comp DUS mortgage company right it was not related to this -- I don't think directly and that it now somehow it was a related to somebody darting out in prison guard does that say well. He's a bad guy well in that -- doing business with bad people. Yeah I don't really know -- -- about it I just can't imagine what it would be like to be in that predicament. Can't be happy camper you have to write shackles and orange clothes. You had to wait listen to of evidence. Turn in and it's. You wanna see him as being in a bad person but yet you gotta wait and see what he has to -- him and if it goes along with what. Evidence is showing. OK we have some other college let's go to barber in old Metairie Barbara. And for the accurate and then I have a com. The question that I don't understand. It's a contract more open to public did how could he influence of the public bid contracts. But 'cause he had a son now found and they weren't all public bids he had changed ordinance after Katrina. To bypass. Any panel or. To make it a no bid. -- for now I read and read in the paper as a mayor. Actually he's the head of the baby he have to sign every contract automatically tax credits are now that's. That's not correct -- direct -- they showed us where like even analysts are Bravo where he had refused to sign him. And so. Except his choice to which warrants it he had to sign -- have been Elaine he had the last say so remember now only when he didn't sign was the one that was the problem. It did you have to do with the -- yeah. Cable when you change the rules at that come on Wendy public debt. To Katrina. They had I think an article for -- welcome. I remember reading in the paper -- article. And -- -- later on given an award I think by the president can she brought them back so quick she can achieve that type of person did not. And I cross for the key however after Katrina in order to bring the school system back. And I think she got back and -- jets and the normally. She did things and she cut corners that she would've never considered doing and she felt that wanted to things what happened. Should -- called them back and should be considered a hero -- should be prosecuted and put in jail. And she got -- and that and then to count kind of awards but I want to make a comment about memory. You all all on the North Shore -- real close to the well in the everybody that went through Katrina in north -- -- in the cat memory loss I started getting very very worried about my memory loss. -- I read in the front page of the times Picayune. And a therapist was explaining the way the mind works if you re building houses. And like he was trying to bring them back without declaring bankruptcy which he did actually the -- did not declare bankruptcy. That the way the mind -- it takes care of any big problems and forget the little details. I could remember people's names who on -- all my life. I could tremendous treatment and then deal about this is normal. Because then everybody tell me we found him trouble can and then I read this psychologist. Yes I -- so it's. -- convicted him because he felt like I was and I don't remember he should've remembered. You loud and -- through Katrina and not hear the in water. And I read the book is the first book he published. And he wouldn't criticize the put when he went to the they have. -- -- -- -- -- We were we weren't Katrina victims. Alina let's hope we can't -- to a solid. -- And and now you know we went to -- a little Italy yet lost everything. Yeah -- we had damaged -- behind them with the bottom line is. We were selected winners and that's not why we convict it is evidence it was just showed his his demeanor earnest -- his credibility -- -- and that. Some things he could amended and should of admitted to again it goes back to the tap dancing around questions if he would answer questions directly. I think that would have made an impact on but he didn't. What do you think his defense attorney could have -- will. That might have changed or he could use that. Is -- the memory the Katrina things happening. In but I don't think the memory loss affected every line. I didn't have that problem and he did sign the contract but that -- New -- Yes definitely that was the cover -- That sign mean of this news he art he investments and it wasn't even in existence and remodeling its early year. OK another caller Tony. Hello Tony in -- -- -- you and I thank you for Angela -- -- two weeks ago. You had laid it too much too slow to -- was all prosecuted. Questioner in the ladies. Out there -- to jury okay these ladies were out. Take notes. When I circled on to a -- or outlook and take notes. And I told announced that you bet that unconstitutional. It is really it will go about our justice system don't shut up shut up. It is and no action be -- -- well. Tony will -- cases federal court or state. -- -- -- -- -- -- Tony let me ask you that this is Bridget. Did you know in advance how long you're trial was in Iran because they told us from day one I was would be at least two weeks. Did you all around until it was it lengthy. Okay well it was a -- No I'm not really sure because like I said this is a first time I've ever done that I just did as I was instructed. -- I hear sang and it brings a good point yes it is a good point yeah -- I appreciate your call a whole lot and always feel free to call we're gonna go to Ron in the marinate Ron. And until it thank you. That snaked its networks are heard earlier today that at BI agent. May have been on being and I wonder it was blogging about it and the. Situation ground bringing Nagin and how that might. The fact the wonderful and meticulous work. The the jury and prosecutors have gone on in this case. What specifically did you clear. And FBI. Agent and I think I heard this on to appear at all. Had been. For -- And are involved -- symbol being. -- On. Pieces or eight states. That was before the attorney general. OK you know that Chris that is something that world. Sort of following very closely I have not heard the latest time appreciate that and that's stay tuned because that's gonna be big I don't know if it's an FBI agent but there's -- thought there were a couple of other bloggers. Run I really appreciate your call hate that we have to take another break but we do stay with us everyone will be back financial look under the WL. As a juror as you listen to other names come off. The Solomon name others did you question gee well why haven't these people have been involved in the case. That was a big question mine. I wanted to hear from him and I do wanna hear from the names on it's headed I mean tape. Okay. Let's go back to you were selected. Through the process you get to the court what are you told it's going to be than they can try. -- well you never told that your even picked. I went the first day. And they kept the first 61 people I was number Tony jury the rest of them got to leave and I bonded with the teacher they -- so we kept intact she got eliminated they warn. Then we have to freeze days Tuesday and Wednesday so we didn't come and then you have to call in number up to 6 PM -- And I was told to come 1 o'clock on Thursday. So when I went there we were re issued a new number but in the room there was only sixteen people -- -- -- and wears -- -- of forty some people a student now. So they wanna stop and they said bridging your number six own so sound so. And they line you -- And then they opened the door and -- -- live court. I still -- first break we came into the room and acid did you all all know that yellow -- and no one that they knew there was -- So I said okay well obviously we're on the jury and we're going to be together for two plus weeks so let's. All introduce myself so I started at opposite umbrage at belong went through the room everybody said their names and it was like after that. The ice was broken and we just bonded that was really really nice and then you were chosen as the four person. Well I was kind of we kind of made her -- 83 or four different people kind of said my name and I really didn't -- what -- -- -- what is this that I just read the verdict and then somebody said no you have to run hole. Show -- I thought okay. So in the morning and I would just Harry Harry there was the rules that we had that if anybody came and we couldn't talk if anybody needed to go to the bathroom we needed to stop. And I won make sure that everybody understood a respect for one another in only one person could speak at a time in Iran very well. I cannot thank you each and everyone if you for the job you did. Because that's their job. And for coming up and sharing experience just means a lot but thank thank you very same area well thank you -- -- stay with us everyone will be right back. I wanna think Bridget looked long -- I corn -- myself not only for being on but for being jurors because it makes the whole system work. Wonderful people thank you for sharing that whole experience with this now let's go into the newsroom and Don names.