Deliberations in homicide retrial halted for juror's illness, should resume today

May 28, 1998|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The Anne Arundel County jurors deliberating the fate of Scotland E. Williams, who is charged in a double slaying, were sent home yesterday after a juror became ill.

Deliberations are expected to resume this morning.

Paramedics took a female juror to Anne Arundel Medical Center, across the street from the courthouse, about 3 p.m., said Kristin Riggin, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office.

"We have no reason to believe that she won't be OK in the morning," Riggin said.

Williams, 35, of Arnold is accused of the shooting deaths in May 1994 of lawyers Jose Trias, 49, and his wife, Julie N. Gilbert, 48, of Washington in their secluded weekend home along the Severn River.

If convicted, Williams could be sentenced to die.

Williams was convicted of the killings and sentenced to death in 1995, but the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict, leading to a retrial, which has been going on for three weeks.

The jury deliberated about an hour Tuesday and five hours yesterday in the complex case.

Assistant State's Attorney Anne Colt Leitess told the jury Tuesday that DNA, a shoe print, glove fibers and other circumstantial evidence place Williams in the victims' Annapolis home.

"How many of you have strange people's pubic hairs in your bedroom?" she asked the jury in her closing argument.

Scotland is charged with 13 counts, including murder, armed robbery, theft, robbery and unauthorized use of a car.

The defense is not challenging the charge that Williams stole Gilbert's car, used the couple's automated teller machine cards and stole $3,000 from their bank accounts.

But defense lawyers say the DNA was contaminated and that other evidence is not as reliable as prosecutors say it is.

Pub Date: 5/28/98

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