Detroit – Michigan’s appeals court has granted a new trial to two men in a 2009 killing after finding that jurors used the internet to do research during deliberations.
The appeals court on Thursday affirmed a decision by a Wayne County judge who said that “extraneous information” influenced the jury’s decision.
J.B. Watson was fatally shot in 2009 while at a red light in Detroit. Derrico Searcy was convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder. Darrell Ewing was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
A juror at the 2010 trial said information shared by other jurors about gangs and gang hierarchies persuaded her to convict Searcy and Ewing. One juror found a Facebook photo of Ewing with a gun.
“The members of a jury are permitted to consider only the evidence that was admitted in open court,” the appeals court said in Thursday’s decision.
The case has been on appeal for years in state and federal courts.