Juror jailed for texting during trial

Published On: Apr 19 2013 10:53:28 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 22 2013 11:26:06 AM EDT

Marion County Sheriff's Office

An Oregon man spent two days in jail this week for texting during an armed robbery trial.

Marion County Circuit Judge Dennis Graves cleared the courtroom when he noticed an unexpected glow on the chest of 26-year-old juror Benjamin Kohler when the lights were dimmed for a video, Portland TV station KGW reported.

He excused all jurors except Kohler, who had no explanation for his actions.

Jurors in Oregon are given explicit instructions at the outset of each trial not to use cellphones in court, according to The Associated Press.

Kohler was held in contempt of court and spent most of Tuesday and all day Wednesday in jail.

"I know what I did wasn't smart and I don't blame the judge for being upset but two days in jail is harsh," he told KGW on Thursday.

An alternate juror took his place, and the trial ended Thursday with the defendant found guilty, Marion County sheriff's spokesman Don Thomson told the AP.

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