Meechaiel Criner’s lawyers requesting new trial amid allegations of jury misconduct

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Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia | Daily Texan Staff

Update (9:26 p.m.):

Criner’s attorneys said they discovered new evidence from Criner’s laptop after the verdict which shows Criner is not guilty, according to KXAN. His attorneys also said that their trial counsel was ineffective at discovering enough evidence which proved Criner was not guilty, according to the report.

According to KXAN, Criner’s attorneys said in their motion that the juror said in her affidavit that she "finally just gave up and changed [her] vote" because other jurors "told her she was being unreasonable and was crazy.” The defense also said the jury foreman didn't tell jurors about some communications with the judge or read certain instructions, according to KXAN.

Prosecutors are disputing the credibility of the juror who filed the affidavit and plan to contest the motion, which they say is standard following a conviction, according to KXAN. Prosecutors also said under state law, there is not enough evidence that the juror was influenced by coercion or that the jury was allegedly influenced by outside information.

According to KXAN, courtroom officials say that Meechaiel Criner will also be brought to the hearing. Prosecutors said that several witnesses will likely be called at the hearing Wednesday, where the judge will decide the credibility of the witnesses, according to KXAN.

Original story: 

Attorneys are filing for a new trial for Meechaiel Criner, who was found guilty of the capital murder of Haruka Weiser less than two months ago, according to KXAN.

An anonymous juror told KXAN that defense attorneys were filing a motion for a new trial amid allegations of jury misconduct during deliberation. The hearing on the motion will be on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the 167th Criminal District Court.

The anonymous juror also told KXAN that one of the jurors signed an affidavit saying she was bullied into supporting the guilty verdict by the other jurors. However, the anonymous juror said the juror who signed the affidavit was not pressured into the verdict.

"That's absolutely false and the truth will come out tomorrow at the hearing,” the anonymous juror said to KXAN.

According to Fox 7, Criner’s attorneys said a juror admitted to doing internet research about the case. Criner attorneys also said the same juror looked up the steps to reach a verdict, wrote them down and laid them out to the jury.

Criner's attorneys said this guilty verdict was unfair and that a new trial is required, according to Fox 7.

In July, Travis County jury sentenced Criner to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 40 years for capital murder in the April 2016 death of dance freshman Haruka Weiser.