UPDATE: The jury has reached a verdict of guilty. Moments after it was read in open court, the defendant had an outburst and was briskly escorted from the courtroom by the bailiffs.
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Dewey Green's murder trial started with an unexpected delay Friday morning when Douglas County Prosecutors brought up serious allegations of jury tampering by murder defendant Dewey Green.
Chief D.A. Ryan Leonard told Judge David T. Emerson that Green has been recorded asking family members and friends to approach jurors and share his side of the story of Janice Pitts' murder. Prosecutors played an audio recording of conversations between Green and his visitors at the jail to support his allegations.
Before allowing the first full day of deliberations to get underway, Judge Emerson individually polled each juror to determine if they'd been approached by any of Green's supporters. He allowed deliberation to resume after the jurors said they had not been contacted, but ordered a deputy to guard their deliberations and ordered the panel to be sequestered for lunch.
The 24 year old Alabama native is on trial for the brutal murder of Janice Pitts of Douglasville. The 53-year-old grandmother was at a red light on Highway 5 when investigators say Green rammed the back of her car several times. Witnesses say when Pitts stepped out of the car to check the damage, Green hit the gas and pinned Pitts to her car. They say Green intentionally ran over Pitts after she fell to the ground as he was trying to get away.
Defense attorneys say Green suffered a seizure and did not intend to kill the beloved grandmother. Pitts' young grandson was in the car and witnessed the ordeal.
After two weeks of testimony, jurors started deliberating Thursday afternoon.