Wise trial in turmoil amid allegations of jury room threats, bullying

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“It is axiomatic in our law that jury deliberations are forever to be kept secret,” he said, “but the jury room is also governed by the basics of our criminal law, including the prohibition against making threats.”

Phillips began his courtroom investigation with the jury foreman, who told court that some jurors were making deliberations difficult because of their interruptions, swearing and other offensive language.

One juror, the foreman said, told others in the room that, “I wish this could happen to your parents so that you know how it feels.” The foreman said he believed the juror was referring to murder.

Another male juror pointed at the same individual, juror 11, as someone who “chirped” whenever others presented arguments.

“It’s fine in a sporting event, but, in something like this, we don’t need any chirping,” the man said. The juror accused the individual of bullying his fellow jurors, particularly the women, interrupting them, not listening to them and making comments under his breath.

“It’s a professional surrounding, it’s not beer league hockey,” he said. “I expect more professionalism in the jury room.”

One female juror described the jury room as a toxic environment where people were afraid to speak their minds for fear of being attacked or bullied.

Said another female juror: “Every day there are people who are crying.”

The jury is weighing the circumstantial evidence against Wise, who is accused of killing Collision in a backyard garage, then stuffing his body into a drainage culvert.

The skeletal remains of Collison, 58, a Chesterville handyman, were found in April 2014, five years after he disappeared. An autopsy revealed he been shot as many as five times, including once in the back of the head.