But several panelists testified that Kathy never read aloud the judge's answer to an important juror question posed during deliberations.

Judge Duncan's succinct reply should have repeated a message she already had given them — Martinson wasn't charged with premeditated or intentional murder, and it wasn't to be considered.

At first, Kathy testified that she and the rest of the panel also formally voted guilty on the child-abuse count, as required by law. But when pressed by the judge, she increasingly expressed confusion about the sequence of events.

Josh Eberle-Martinson in a photo taken shortly before his August 2004 death.
Josh Eberle-Martinson in a photo taken shortly before his August 2004 death.
Jeff Martinson's booking photo
Jeff Martinson's booking photo

Judge Duncan stopped Kathy's testimony at one point and ordered a short break, telling her to relax, that she wasn't going to get into trouble for saying the "wrong" thing.

"This isn't like a kindergarten situation where you're going to the principal's office," the judge said.

Prosecutor Frankie Grimsman objected to the recess, saying Kathy would return and try to say what she thought the judge wanted to hear.

But it didn't play out that way.

Kathy seemed to be even more forgetful of her jury experience when her testimony resumed.

Her perspective stood in stark contrast with Laura's.

Laura said she was one of the four jurors who desperately wanted to discuss the less serious types of child abuse but constantly were rebuked by Kathy during the five days of deliberation.

Laura testified that she had expected to finally be able to discuss the less serious levels of child abuse after the felony murder verdict was read, after which she said she believed the panel could reverse its decision on Martinson's guilt.

Laura said she was flabbergasted in the courtroom when the bailiff announced that she and the others also had convicted Martinson of child abuse.

"I wanted to get up and say, 'This isn't right! We didn't vote on any of this!'" Laura testified, breaking into tears. "But I didn't. I feel stupid."

Laura said she became even more sickened by her own decision to convict Martinson of murder after a fellow juror, the retired bus driver, told her before the sentencing phase, "I know [convicting him of murder] was wrong, but I'm not going to say anything."

Laura finally did say something, first to the other jurors and then in the critical post-conviction note to Judge Duncan.

Defense attorney Terribile asked Laura on the stand whether she was suffering from buyer's remorse by second-guessing her decision about Jeff Martinson's guilt.

No, she said, "It's my stupidity for believing what [Kathy] told me."

Asked whether she had anything to add to that, Laura looked up at Judge Duncan and said:

"I made a mistake. I want someone to fix it."

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