Judge wants investigation of Beam juror misconduct - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Judge wants investigation of Beam juror misconduct

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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:00 pm

A Pima County Superior Court judge has requested an investigation into possible juror misconduct in the murder trial of Oro Valley resident Paul Beam.

On June 1, Judge Clark Munger issued an order referring allegations of juror misconduct in the Beam trial to Presiding Criminal Judge Richard Fields for additional proceedings.

Munger's order also requests that the Arizona Attorney General investigate the matter.

Beam was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2009 for the August 2008 killing of his live-in girlfriend, Lisa Berrie, in their Oro Valley apartment.

At the time of his conviction, Beam attorney Darlene Edminson-O'Brien requested a new trial based on information that one of the jurors was dishonest during jury selection.

Juror Diane Urquides was asked questions about her personal experiences with violent crime or domestic violence. Urquides did not reveal that she and her boyfriend had a history of domestic violence. Based upon that information, Munger granted a defense motion for a new trial.

"In this case,the right to a fair and impartial trial is of such constitutional magnitude, however, that the law requires a retrial," Munger wrote in his ruling.

Juror misconduct is a felony and carries a penalty of probation or up to two years in prison.

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