A juror who violated an Ohio judge's instructions by looking up a defendant's criminal record during a robbery trial was hit with a $900 fine yesterday, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Chris A. Kuhn, 36, of Columbus, could pay an even steeper cost, depending on the outcome of the defendant's case. Judge Daniel Hogan said Kuhn will have to reimburse the county if the defendant's convictions are reversed as a result of his actions.
Kuhn was seated on a jury in June to hear the case of a man charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping. Two days after the trial began, another juror told the bailiff that Kuhn had showed him something on his cellphone that indicated Sparks “had been in trouble with the law 37 times.” The judge had warned jurors, “You don't do a single thing outside of this room that has to do with this case. If you do and I find out, you're going to be dealing eyeball to eyeball with one unamused judge, and you won't like it.” Hogan removed Kuhn from the jury.