Homicide trial postponed after allegations of jury tampering
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Homicide trial postponed after allegations of jury tampering

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COURT MARTICE FULLER

Martice Fuller appears in Judge Mary Wagner’s courtroom in this photo from Jan. 8. On Monday, his trial was postponed after allegations arose that Fuller tried to get relatives to contact jurors on his behalf.

As the homicide trial for 16-year-old Martice Fuller was set to begin Monday morning, allegations of jury tampering arose, forcing the judge to postpone the case.

The trial will now be held in May.

Fuller is accused of first-degree intentional homicide for the May 9, 2019, shooting death of his 15-year-old former girlfriend Kaylie Juga.

He is also charged with attempted homicide for shooting and injuring her mother Stephanie Juga.

His trial was set to begin Monday after the state and defense spent the day Friday choosing a jury.

On Monday before the trial began, District Attorney Michael Graveley told the court that in a series of three recorded phone calls from the Kenosha County Jail over the weekend, Fuller had contacted relatives and given them the names of five jurors, asking them to contact relatives of those jurors on his behalf.

Graveley said there is an ongoing investigation into whether there was any contact with jurors.

“There is nothing you can do that is more manipulative to this process,” Graveley said, saying that if the trial went forward, he would want to present evidence of the alleged attempt at tampering to the jury.

Defense attorney Carl Johnson argued that if evidence of the phone calls was presented to the jury, jurors could see themselves as victims in the case.

“We do not believe that Mr. Fuller would be able to have a fair trial if the jurors heard their names (in the recorded calls),” Johnson said.

After considering the arguments and looking at case law, Judge Mary K. Wagner decided to adjourn the trial.

“This is a very serious, serious allegation,” she said, saying that all efforts need to be made to assure a fair trial, although Fuller’s own actions created the problem.

“That is what every defendant and every prosecutor has the right to expect, and that appears to have been tampered with.”

Wagner said she did not want to risk having to retry the case.

The judge barred Fuller from having contact with the people he spoke to about the jurors. Those names were not given in court, but were shared with the defense.

The trial is now scheduled for May 11.

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