Juror dismissed after dozing off | SteamboatToday.com

Juror dismissed after dozing off

Matt Stensland

— A juror was dismissed Thursday because he was having trouble staying awake during the Thomas Lee Johnson murder trial.

The juror had earlier informed the court that, if he was selected to sit on the jury, he still planned to attend classes at night.

Judge Michael O’Hara noticed the juror had missed about five minutes of testimony Thursday.

“I understand it can be hard what you were trying to do and stay awake,” O’Hara said.

O’Hara told the juror to notify him if any members of the public harassed him for being dismissed.

Keeping the full attention of the jury has been challenging, at times, during the trial, which is scheduled for three weeks.

On Wednesday, the jury heard testimony that included complex topics related to DNA.

With the dismissal of the juror, there are now two alternate jurors.

The trial is running behind schedule, and O’Hara was considering holding proceedings Monday to keep the trial on schedule. The original plan was to take Monday off in observance of Rosh Hashanah.

On Thursday, the prosecution continued to present its case and heard testimony from Ron Farmer, who was roommates with Lori Bases when she found dead in May 2000. Farmer was not present when Bases was killed.

Prosecutors have argued that Johnson tried to frame Farmer for the murder.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.