NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A man sentenced to life in prison in his roommate's murder could get a new trial because one of the jurors contacted a witness on Facebook.
According to court filings, the juror knew the medical examiner and sent her a message congratulating her on doing a "great job" during her testimony.
The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the judge in William Darelle Smith's 2010 murder trial should have conducted a hearing on the Facebook communication as soon as he learned of it.
The Supreme Court said the communication may have been harmless, but it is impossible to know because no hearing was conducted. The trial court was ordered to conduct a full hearing. If it cannot do that, Smith is to be granted a new trial.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.