HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The judge replaced a juror and ordered the jury to restart deliberations Wednesday in the trial of the foster parents charged in the death of a 2-year-old child.
Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum have been charged with murder in the 2015 death of 2-year-old Laila Daniel, who was in their foster care.
Judge Brian J. Amero denied a second request for a mistrial on Wednesday, saying the jury will now be sequestered as they deliberate.
A single juror who spoke to a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday was replaced.
The jury was also instructed to restart their deliberations.
The defense first asked for a mistrial on Tuesday afternoon after a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke to a juror during a break. The reporter and juror both said the interaction was brief and not substantive. Judge Amero denied that request.
The defense motioned for a mistrial again on Wednesday on the grounds that media coverage had been prejudicial against the Rosenbaums, arguing that livestreams of the trial had shown moments in court that were not supposed to be broadcast, and outlets had published coverage that was inaccurate and biased against her clients.
Defense attorney Corinne Mull said there was too much media coverage that was “unduly extensive, factually incorrect, inflammatory and prejudicial against defendants.”
The prosecution characterized that argument as “grasping at straws.”
The Henry County Superior Court judge denied the motion.
Later Wednesday afternoon, the defense once again sought a mistrial after a juror allegedly uploaded a photo (unrelated to the trial) to a social media account. the judge denied the motion.
The judge offered to order the jury dinner as they continued to deliberate past 5 p.m., which has been the time that the court typically went home throughout the trial. They stayed late into the evening until they were sent to their hotel.
Closing arguments were made Friday, and the jury began deliberating Monday morning.
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MORE FROM THIS TRIAL:
DAY TWO: Facebook messages, phone recordings introduced as Laila Daniel’s mom testifies in foster parents murder trial
DAY THREE: 'It hurt': 7-year-old details spankings, belt use at trial of 2-year-old sister's alleged murder by foster parents
DAY SEVEN: ‘Millie told me Laila had been asleep’: ER nurse who treated girls on day Laila Daniel died
DAY NINE: 'Significant blunt impact trauma:' Medical examiner says Laila Daniel did not die from choking
DAY TWELVE: Defense expert says toddler killed by foster mom’s ‘panicked attempt to save Laila’s life’
DAY FOURTEEN: Awaiting the verdict in the foster parent murder trial
DAY FIFTEEN: As jury deliberates, judge reprimands AJC reporter accused of speaking to Rosenbaum juror on break
The foster parents said she choked - but the autopsy tells a different story. Now this evidence can't be used during the trial.