Jury finds Ross guilty on bribery of juror charge - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Jury finds Ross guilty on bribery of juror charge

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A jury has convicted a Scottsbluff man already serving time on drug and related charges on a new charge of bribery of a juror.
 
It took about two-hours for the jury to find Ross guilty of the Class IV Felony.

Prosecutors say Ross had spoken to a juror upon arriving at the courthouse in December for his drug trial. The juror, Jordan Carrizales, testified Tuesday morning.

Carrizales testified to Scotts Bluff County Deputy Attorney Scott Blaha that Ross had approached him the morning of December 4, 2013 just minutes before Ross' drug trial was set to start. 

Carrizales said he had been running late that morning due to snowy road conditions, and when he entered the courthouse just before 8:30 a.m. a man was standing by the entrance doors.

Carrizales says he has an eye condition that makes it difficult for his vision to adjust to indoor lighting when he walks in from outside, so he didn't immediately recognize Ross.

But Carrizales says the man soon began asking questions about Carrizales' relative, and where he works, and that's when Carrizales said was able to identify the man as Brian Ross. 

Carrizales said Ross then followed him up several sets of staircases to the District Court level, asking Carrizales twice if he could "help him out" in court that day.

Carrizales said he had laughed off Ross' questions.

"I was thinking, he couldn't be serious," Carrizales said on the stand.

Carrizales said Ross then told him he would give him an "envelope full of cash" if he helped him out.

Carrizales said he was ignoring Ross' at that point, and didn't turn around to see if he in fact had an envelope.

That envelope came into play later on in trial, when Brian Ross took the stand to defend himself.

Ross denied the allegations that he bribed and offered Carrizales money.

Ross stated he did not have any cash on him that day, and pointed out when he was arrested later that evening, no cash was found in his possession.

After Ross' testimony, Deputy Attorney Blaha called WING Investigator Brandi Brunz to the stand, who said she saw Ross hand his father a wallet containing at least $200 cash before he was escorted out of the courtroom.

"I never have $200 of cash on me," Ross said. "We sold our restaurant and I am broke as hell right now."

The state and defense both rested after Brunz' testimony.

Ross could face an additional five years in jail. Sentencing has been set for April 24th.

 

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