Dope in the jury box?
There was an odd moment during a lunch hour break Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of Daniel Gudino, the 15-year-old Colorado Springs boy accused of killing his younger brother and wounding their mom.
The jurors had just filed out of the courtroom when someone noticed something unusual on the floor of the jury box: a tiny packet containing white powder.
Detective John Garza, the lead investigator in the Gudino case, slipped on a latex glove and picked the packet up from the floor. He handed it to a sheriff’s deputy, who took custody of the object.
Fourth Judicial District David L. Shakes made a brief record of the incident in the trial transcript. Shakes said he didn’t believe it had any thing to do with the jurors in the Gudino trial.
A more likely source, prosecutors said, was a man who had been sitting in the jury box earlier that morning during Shakes’ criminal docket. That man arrived on his own to the courtroom, but wound up going to jail.
An inquisitive jury
The jury in the Gudino trial is an inquisitive bunch.
By mid-afternoon Wednesday – the 11th day of testimony – the 8-woman, 6-man panel (includes two alternates) had asked a total of 83 questions.
Judge Shakes said that’s the most he can remember during any trial he’s presided over.
“I’m not sure that’s a record to be proud of,” Shakes joked, provoking some laughter.
One juror in particular has asked a lot of the questions. On Thursday, he came up with questions even while Shakes and the lawyers were evaluating a fist full of other juror questions.
For the most part, the jury questions have been intelligent and incisive.
For example, after hearing testimony from Dr. Steven Martin, a psychiatrist called by the prosecution, the jurors asked questions such as:
Did Gudino act differently when Martin interviewed him alone than he did with his parents present?
He did, Martin replied. Gudino seemed more anxious, he said.
Could Gudino have snapped out of a psychotic episode by the time police interviewed him hours after the shootings?
Not likely, Martin said. “It doesn’t all of a sudden go away,” he said.
If Gudino thought his home was haunted, why did he want to stay home from school so many days?
Good question, Martin said, citing testimony from Gudino’s younger brother who described conflicts at school.
Could Gudino have been delusional?
“I think he has some delusional thinking,” Martin replied.
Was Gudino delusional when he asked a detective at the end of an interrogation, “Can I go home now?”
“It was certainly a fantasy,” Martin observed, who added that the teen later said he understood that he was going to jail.
What did it say about Gudino that he never asked how his mother was?
“I think Daniel was still in denial,” Martin said. “I don’t think he emotionally truly understood how injured his mother was.”
Stay tuned to The Sidebar for updates on this trial.