Jury Trial of the Nervous LDS Drunk Driver

I was in a jury trial prosecuting a drunk driver. My expert criminalist testified that the defendant would have needed to consume about seven drinks in order to get reach his blood alcohol level. After finishing with the criminalist’s testimony, I rested my case, and the judge announced a noon recess.

 The judge was delayed coming back from lunch, and so the defense attorney and I were chatting while seated at the counsel table.

The attorney asked where I went to law school.

I replied, “Brigham Young University.”

 He asked, “Are you Mormon?”

“Yes.” 

The defendant interrupted and said, “I’m Mormon.” 

Then, realizing the irony of me prosecuting an LDS person for drunk driving, he sheepishly went quiet.

  Just at that moment, the judge took the bench and called the case to order. The defense attorney called his client as his only witness.  The defendant testified that he had a hard day at work and so he stopped at a bar on the way home for a “couple” of drinks. His attorney asked, “How many drinks did you have?” The defendant paused, glanced over at me, and replied, “I had the two drinks that I told you and the police about.” He then added, “But after that, I had five more drinks, for a total of seven drinks.” 

https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/side-view-empty-jury-box-260nw-121502677.jpg

 The defense attorney looked like he had been gut-punched, and he quickly rested his case. Apparently, his client lied to him and to the police about the number of drinks, but when his client was under oath, with a fellow Latter-day Saint watching, he decided to tell the truth.

When the defendant returned to counsel table, I overheard his attorney whisper-berate him, “That’s not what you told me.” His client meekly replied, “I know.”

The jury reached a “guilty” verdict in record time.

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