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Au pair juror: Rumors absurd

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Much of the speculation about how jurors arrived at their verdict convicting British au pair Louise Woodward of murder is absurd, one member of the panel said Saturday.

She said the most ludicrous comment was that animosity toward attorney Barry Scheck, who also handled the medical side of O.J. Simpson's defense, weighed heavily against Woodward.

"The craziest thing I heard someone say is that we came to our decision because of Barry Scheck, that we hated Barry Scheck and that's how we came up with the verdict," the juror said. "That is just crazy."

The juror, who requested anonymity, said she was talking to another juror about issuing a statement explaining key points of how the verdict was reached.

"But I have to say it looks like a no-win situation. We'll say we decided on the basis of this, this and this, and someone will say, "No, it was because of Barry Scheck' or some other crazy thing," said the juror, one of the nine women on the panel.

A source close to the defense said there had been some concern that Scheck's forceful style might have caused some problems.

The juror rejected that: "I don't think his name even came up" during deliberations.

The jurors had refused to talk to the media after their verdict Thursday night that found the 19-year-old Woodward murdered 8-month-old Matthew Eappen by shaking and slamming him in a fit of frustration.

On Tuesday, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Hiller Zobel will consider defense motions to throw out the verdict, reduce the charge or order a new trial.