Defendant Kenneth Foy went to trial on two counts of first degree attempted premeditated murder. There were three eye witnesses who testified Mr Foy shot two people in mid daylight at Arthur May Villas in south Miami Dade County. After a week of trial the jury came back with convictions for Attempted involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery. The jury verdict was a bitter sweet win for our firm. The cross examinations by Arnold Trevilla were very effective and the closing argument given by Mr. Lavandera was very persuasive. The judge, a former training attorney for the Miami Dade State Attorneys office and former constitutional law professor, gave us a very fair trial. Samantha Ruiz-Cohen is a new judge but very knowledgeable . Her understanding of the rules of evidence was far superior to that of anyone in the courtroom. Thats the way it should be. The judge should know the rules of evidence better than anyone else in the courtroom.
The jury was another story. The jury cleary didn’t understand very basic principles of civics and constitutional law. The jury could not grasp the presumption of innocence. A very basic tenant of constitutional law was lost upon this jury panel. The jurys first question five minutes after they retired to deliberate was: “where was the defendant on the night of the shooting? Did they not remember what the judge, the state and the defense had been telling them for almost a week? He doesn’t have to testify and does not have to present any evidence. The jury also wanted to know about the defendants criminal history. Obviously this was a bad jury panel; Not the first time it happens.
The lesson learned here is no matter how innocent a person may be or weak the states case is “YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT A JURY WILL DO.” Every time one goes to trial its a roll of the dice. Trials are a risky endeavor. You just never know. The most important thing in the trial for a defendant is having a good jury. If you have a bad jury they will convict a hamburger. A jury is like the f0undation of a house. If you have a bad foundation the house will crumble no matter how well the rest of it is put together.