††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† *News
Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: June 28, 2013
†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex
County Prosecutorís Office
††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: June 28, 2013
State Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal in double homicide
The Supreme Court agreed to the review after Middlesex County Acting Assistant Prosecutor Nancy Hulett filed a petition challenging the decision on December 28, 2012 by the Appellate Division of Superior Court to reverse the murder convictions of Michael Ross II (DOB 11/20/82).
In the petition, Hulett asked the high court to uphold the trial courtís decision to bring in an alternate juror and to start deliberations anew, after the initial jury had reported that it was unable to reach a verdict, and then one of the sitting jurors was excused for illness.
four more days of deliberations with the alternate juror on the panel, Ross was
found guilty on April 29, 2008 of murdering Aleksy Bautin, 26, of the Avenel
the month-long trial, Middlesex County Acting Assistant Prosecutor Julie
Davidson presented evidence and testimony showing Ross fatally shot the men on
October 30, 2003 as they sat in a car parked in a lot at the Forest View
apartment complex in
Ross subsequently was sentenced to two life prison terms with no chance of parole for 127 years. He has remained in custody during the appeals process.
In overturning the convictions, the Appellate Division ruled that the trial judge erred when he substituted the alternate juror for the ill juror after the panel said it had reached an impasse.
The Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office, in its petition, asked the Supreme Court to consider that the trial court, in its discretion, should be able to substitute one juror for another who has been validly excused, even after the jury has declared itself unable to reach a verdict, provided that the trial court properly instructs the new panel to start its deliberations from the beginning.
No hearing date has been set for the Supreme Courtís review.