Friday morning, a hearing was held in Charlotte to discuss how a private investigator is allowed to behave towards jury members.
The hearing was held due to the fact that Judge Wolfe was contacted by a juror in the Wiggins case. The juror was approached by a private investigator and was told that it was under the orders of the court. Due to this, Judge Wolfe made the motion of sending a letter to all jurors to remind them that they’re allowed to talk to anybody they wish.
General Crouch then spoke to both the council and Judge Wolfe by stating that the letter needs to clarify that neither the state, district attorney’s, or judge is sending an investigator to them.
However, Judge Wolfe, then made the statement that he didn’t want to show bias in the letter by stating that exact fact. Moreover, the letter wold just further emphasize that the jurors may speak to whoever, yet clarity that they the investigator is not under the authority of the court.
After General Crouch and Judge Wolfe spoke, the defense attorney, Luke Evans, pled his side.
Evans requested for the communication between the juror and Judge Wolfe to be made public information. Additionally, he added that the allegation was completely false and that the investigator has stated where they are from.
Evans then continued to ask that the letter doesn’t need to be sent out, and that Judge Wolfe has already made the jurors initial instructions abundantly clear beforehand. Lastly, Evans asked for Steven’s middle name to be corrected from Ray to Joshua.
After both sides spoke with Judge Wolfe, a brief recess was called to give time for Judge Wolfe to prepare his ruling.
Judge Wolfe then came back after a brief recess and stated that under current law, investigators are allowed to contact jury members unless specified otherwise. Additionally, he stated that the letter will only be send to that one juror instead of all sixteen to not show any favoritism on either side. Finally, he motioned for the letter to be kept on case file.