Drug Evidence Goes Missing, Lawyer Blames Jurors

What happened to 71 oxycodone pills?
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 31, 2017 10:07 AM CDT
Drug Evidence Goes Missing, Lawyer Blames Jurors
The painkiller oxycodone is popular among opioid addicts.   (Tommy Farmer/Tennessee Bureau of Investigation via AP)

An Ohio defense lawyer is accusing at least one juror of stealing 71 oxycodone pills during a drug trial, the AP reports. John David Moore Jr. says jurors found his client guilty and then rushed out of the courthouse before anyone noticed the 71 opioid pills were missing. He says his client should get a new trial or have his charges dismissed. But Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien tells the Columbus Dispatch it's too early to blame jurors for the missing pills, and that their disappearance doesn't affect the facts of the case. O'Brien says the jury took two breaks during the deliberations, and that could have left the pills unattended in the jury room, which court personnel can access.

O'Brien and Judge Stephen L. McIntosh say they've never heard of evidence going missing during deliberations. Heroin and methamphetamine used as evidence didn't disappear. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating and reviewing surveillance camera footage. The incident has opened discussions about how evidence should be handled during deliberations, per the Dispatch. Juries routinely handle drug evidence in the jury room, but McIntosh says photos of drug evidence could be used instead. (Read more oxycodone stories.)

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