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Jury reaches partial verdict in DV assault trial

Posted: October 8, 2013 - 1:02pm  |  Updated: October 9, 2013 - 12:02am
This photograph shows Jesse H. Boone, 30, sitting next to his attorney Assistant Public Defender Grace Lee, left, and paralegal Thea Howard, right, during his trial in Juneau Superior Court last week.  Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
This photograph shows Jesse H. Boone, 30, sitting next to his attorney Assistant Public Defender Grace Lee, left, and paralegal Thea Howard, right, during his trial in Juneau Superior Court last week.

A jury has reached a partial verdict in a domestic violence assault trial wherein the alleged victim testified she made up some of the allegations.

The jury found the defendant, 30-year-old Jesse Harrol Boone, not guilty of the two felony assault charges relating to an incident on Dec. 5, 2012, that the alleged victim admitted to fabricating during the week-long trial in Juneau Superior Court.

Prosecutors had argued Boone choked his live-in girlfriend at their Glacier View trailer on that date, as well as five days later on Dec. 10, 2012. He was charged with felony second- and third-degree assault for both instances.

But while the alleged victim was being cross-examined on the first day of trial, she abruptly admitted that Boone never choked her on Dec. 5, and that she put red marks on her own neck to feign injury. She maintained that Boone did choke her in a similar assault on Dec. 10.

The jury announced they deadlocked on both felony charges relating to the Dec. 10 incident, saying they could not reach an unanimous decision even if they continued deliberating.

“There is consensus that it will not lead to any resolution,” the jury foreperson told Judge Philip Pallenberg.

Outside the courthouse, one juror said the jury was split “pretty much right down the middle” on the latter counts relating to Dec. 10. Some jurors firmly felt the “logical explanation” was Boone was to blame for the woman’s injuries, while others questioned whether the woman was telling the truth.

“Did she do it to herself like she did on the first time?” the juror, who asked to remain anonymous, said. “Don’t know.”

Prosecutors had argued the victim recanted because she was intimidated by confronting Boone in court and because she was scared by the defense attorney’s questions. The defense, meanwhile, argued the woman fabricated both assaults because she was trying to fleece money out of Boone and his family, and because Boone planned to leave her.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams moved for a mistrial on the two felony counts relating to Dec. 10. Judge Philip Pallenberg granted that motion without objection from Boone’s attorney Assistant Public Defender Grace Lee. A hearing is scheduled to take place Thursday to determine how the case will proceed.

The verdicts were announced a little after 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The jury, comprised of nine women and three men, deliberated for a total of six hours on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

The District Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached for comment regarding whether they will be considering bringing charges against the alleged victim, who admitted to lying under oath to both the grand jury and the jury hearing the case.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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