Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
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Judge grants new trial because of juror misconduct

BOWLING GREEN — Citing juror misconduct, a judge granted a Wood County man convicted of running an unlicensed pawn shop a new trial.

Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matthew Reger said Thursday he could not determine whether a juror hearing the case of John F. Schulte, 61, of Luckey was impartial in finding Schulte guilty on one count of the offense because of inconsistent testimony from the juror and two assistant prosecutors whom he talked to after the Feb. 27 trial. Schulte was acquitted on two other pawnbroking charges.

At a pretrial hearing Friday, Judge Reger scheduled Schulte’s trial for July 24.

Thomas Matuszak and Channa Beard both told the court the juror had asked them why Schulte’s criminal history did not come up during the trial.

The juror, who had said during the jury selection process that he did not know Schulte, told the court at a subsequent hearing on Schulte’s motion for a new trial, that he’d played softball with Schulte more than 30 years ago and knew he’d had legal problems in the past.

A former investment counselor who once employed convicted financier Marty Frankel, Schulte has served time in state prison for stalking and in federal prison for mail fraud and income-tax evasion  — information that was not and could not be presented at his latest trial.

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