Deputy District Attorney Timothy Cross was not pleased with Christopher V. Hillman’s sentence for attempting to influence the jury during the Raymond Oyler arson murder trial in 2009.
On Friday, Aug. 24, Judge Larrie Brainard sentenced Hillman to 36 months of formal probation.
“I’m really disappointed,” Cross said. “The jurors were just doing their duty and shouldn’t have been approached.”
After the original jury verdict finding Hillman guilty, Brainard issued an opinion that he thought Hillman’s defense was inadequate. In March, the state appellate court sided with the DA’s appeal.
Unfortunately, Cross said he can’t appeal the sentence as he did the question of adequate defense for Hillman.
Cross acknowledged that some crimes have a range of degree, where latitudes on sentencing are sensible. For example, robbery has a great range, including the amount or value, whether violence was involved and other factors.
But jury tampering is simply not complex, Cross argued. “It’s a serious offense. This was a very important case. The defendant was trying to get information to the jury, which the trial judge prohibited the defense from using. I find the sentence offensive.”