The start of El Chapo’s long-awaited trial was thrown into chaos Tuesday thanks to an “anxious and upset” juror who brought a doctor’s note to court to help get her booted off the case.
The woman, identified only as juror No. 1, came to court armed with a doctor’s note saying she couldn’t serve on the trial, which could last three to four months, the judge said.
“I got a handwritten letter which details medical issues that have been brought about by her selection,” Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan told lawyers.
“This person has been anxious and upset since selection … If I were to ask further questions, it will result in a breakdown and crying.”
Juror No. 1 burst into tears last week upon learning she was among the seven women and five men picked as jurors in the trial for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the notorious leader of the dangerous Sinaloa drug cartel.
Cogan refused to let her off, saying he didn’t see any “real hardship there.”
Six alternates were also selected.
Instead of replacing the nervous juror with one of the alternates, lawyers on both sides agreed to select a fresh one, which they’ll do Tuesday morning.
Guzman, 61, wore a suit and blue tie and waved to his beauty queen wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who smiled back in the heavily secured courtroom. He shook hands with his legal team before taking a seat.
A second juror later complained that he’d lose out on income if he continued to serve despite being unemployed. The man was eventually dismissed as well.
New York Post