A Cambridge man will get a new larceny trial because one of the jurors who heard his case may have been snoozing in the jury box.
Felton Dyous had been convicted of using another man's bank card to withdraw $200 from a Central Square ATM when the man mistakenly left it in the machine. Dyous appealed, in part because one of the jurors may have been falling asleep during his short trial - only two witnesses were called.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled the judge in the case erred by not holding a hearing to determine whether the the juror was, in fact, cat napping. Ironically, it was the prosecutor who brought the apparent sleepyhead to the judge's attention.
Here, there was an ample basis for believing that one of the jurors was asleep during the trial. ... Based on the record before us, we are left with serious doubts that the juror was attentive throughout the trial. Because there was no voir dire hearing and there were no findings establishing that the juror had been attentive and was capable of rendering a verdict based on all of the evidence, the defendant is entitled to the benefit of the doubt as to the juror's attentiveness and is therefore entitled to a new trial.