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Friday, August 08, 2008

A KILLER AMONG US! Saint Pauls OJ Simpson

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10 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

Jurors in Aaron Foster trial say they thought he did it but the evidence wasn't strong enough to convict
But evidence didn't support a guilty verdict, they say
By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
Article Last Updated: 08/06/2008 11:58:02 PM CDT


After all the evidence was presented, all the arguments made, it was up to five women and seven men to decide: Would they send a man to prison or break the hearts of a dead woman's family?

In the end, cool deliberation, not emotions, prevailed, and they brought in a verdict of not guilty in the case of Aaron Walter Foster — accused of killing his girlfriend, Barbara Winn, 27 years ago.

But several members of the jury told the Pioneer Press that the consensus was Foster was guilty — prosecutors just didn't have the goods to prove it.

"We were sorry about the verdict, but it was the only one we could come to with the evidence we were presented," said Tom, the jury foreman. "Everybody on the jury had a tear in their eye."

It would have been easier, another said, if so much time had not passed since Winn was shot in the chest in the bedroom of her Maplewood home in 1981.

But the jurors were forced to go with what they had, the other juror said. And the decision was difficult.

"We didn't follow our hearts," she said. "We followed the law."

The jurors spoke on condition that their full names, or their last names, not be used. They talked of being intimidated by Winn's family, many of whom cried, wailed and shouted in anger when the verdict was read in Ramsey County District Court on July 23.

Afterward, a sheriff's deputy escorted each juror to his or her car. In one case, a juror went to a parking garage with the judge, the court reporter and a deputy. He had seen one man with a bandana across his nose and mouth, he said. The deputy and court reporter then drove him to his car, and he didn't go directly home, he said.
Patty Bruce, Winn's sister-in-law, said after the verdict that the family was not angry with the jurors. The jurors just didn't have all the information they needed, she said, because significant evidence was excluded.

The interviews with jurors took place more than a week after they delivered their verdict, in part because the judge asked the Pioneer Press to submit an affidavit requesting juror information.

MISSING EVIDENCE

Winn was 35 when she died. She had been dating Foster, now 56, and witnesses said she broke up with him the night she was shot, telling him to go home and pack his bags.

They had a fight shortly after midnight May 8, and her three children testified they heard yelling, sounds of a struggle and then a pop. They went into Winn's bedroom to find Foster running out and their mother slumped against a wall, bleeding.

The defense argued that Winn had shot herself.

Foster was not charged with the crime until last year, when Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was running for re-election against former St. Paul Police Chief Bill Finney, who had been a close friend of Foster's.

By that time, nearly all the physical evidence in the case had disappeared — including the gun and the shirt and jacket Foster had been wearing. No gunshot residue had been found on Foster's hands, though he had ample opportunity to wash it off. Residue was on Winn's right hand.

The missing evidence was a constant theme in deliberations, said Tom, the foreman.

If jurors had had some evidence from the gun, some DNA or the gunshot residue, they could have convicted Foster, Tom said.

Jurors also were troubled by the question of who came to Winn's house first, Tom said. That point was never discussed at trial.

Jurors said testimony from people at the bar where Winn and Foster had been in the hours before the shooting hurt, rather than helped, the prosecution.

Winn's brother, Calvin Bruce, said he never saw Winn with a drink in her hand. Tests later showed her blood-alcohol level at 0.13 (the law at the time presumed impaired driving at 0.10). Winn's sister said Foster punched Winn in the stomach. The bar owner said he saw Foster slap her. A friend thought Foster had slapped Winn by the way she held her face after she returned from talking with him. But she did not see the slap.

"All the different stories — it's like they were all trying to protect her somehow," Tom said.

Foster's attorney, Earl Gray, said his client was innocent and it was unfair to Foster to publicize the jurors' behind-the-scenes deliberations after they delivered a not-guilty verdict.

But he said it sounded as if they followed the rules of evidence and the law.

"I'm proud of them for doing the right thing," Gray said.

A contact number for Foster could not be located, and his attorney did not provide one.

'JUST DRAINING'

A juror named Scott said the whole experience was "just draining."

He took copious notes during the trial and referred to them as the group deliberated. They discussed again and again the evidence they had, he said.

The idea that Winn committed suicide "didn't make sense, obviously," he said. But Winn was drunk, tests showed, and they could have struggled over the gun.

"We kept digging through there, trying to come up with something we could come up with, and we couldn't," he said. "We think he did it. We felt bad."

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Killers ahve a right to walk among us if the government can't do it's job correctly. The crooked politicians that fixed this case years ago walk among us also. Who's complaining about them and writing stories?

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But several members of the jury told the Pioneer Press that the consensus was Foster was guilty — prosecutors just didn't have the goods to prove it.

"We were sorry about the verdict, but it was the only one we could come to with the evidence we were presented," said Tom, the jury foreman. "Everybody on the jury had a tear in their eye."

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Killers ahve a right to walk among us if the government can't do it's job correctly. The crooked politicians that fixed this case years ago walk among us also. Who's complaining about them and writing stories?

2:55 PM "

Good question! We are! This is NOT over! The truth...and, I mean the whole truth...is going to come out about Bobbi's case and anyone who covered for Foster...beginning with Finney! There may be some people who cannot possibly understand why it will not stop here. But, very few people know everything that we know. If people knew everything, and they will in due time, they would be equally outraged.

Meanwhile, we will do what we have to do, even if we have do it alone. Unfortunately, political allegiences have determined who is and is not outraged by everything that happened with this case, beginning in 1981. Even worse, these allegiences has determined who is and is not a victim. I think it is shameful for anyone to look the other way when a murder is committed, simply because of their allegience to an individual...namely, Finney, or their hatred for someone else.

At this point, we have nothing to lose...and, it appears that authorities are not interested in getting to the bottom of everything that has happened. And, quite frankly, we are quite tired of asking. Everything we have done, we tried to do with dignity and grace. But, this is what we got in return. I really cannot think of anything we could have done differently, considering the circumstances.

If we had the power to do so, we would pin medals on the chests of Bob Fletcher, Bill Snyder, and Gary Gibbs. They did what no other law enforcement agency or official, for over a quarter of a century, had the courage to do.

If you visit Bobbi's website, you will notice, immediately, that our entire tone has changed. You may not be able to understand why we are doing what we are doing. But, that is understandable, because unless if you have endured what we have, you probably can't understand. Whether people understand or not, I believe it is time for people to stand up and do the right thing.

Concerning the article about the jurors, I want to say that no one in our family said or did anything to intimidate the jurors. Furthermore, with regards to the juror with the "bandana" story; every member of our family was fully accounted for in front of the courthouse and in front of reporters and television crews. Yes, there was a lot of grief, sadness, and anger. But, what did the jury or anyone else expect?? None of the anger, however, was directed at the jury.

Thank you to those of you whom have left messages for our family on this blog over the past two years. I've read all of them, and relayed them to my family.

www.justiceforbarbara.com

God Bless you,

Patty Bruce

5:51 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Patty,

You let us know if there is "anything" I, or my readers can do for your family.

I feel deeply for all of you.

Bob

Bobbi Winns website

8:08 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

We have some "ASS HOLES" in local government and politics, and they protect their own at all cost. They are a bigger threat to society than the hoodlums on the street.

Here is my pledge. If Finney runs for an elected office, I will make sure Finney never gets elected to any local government position ever. I don't care what it cost to do this. IF any DFLer DARES to use Finney for work on a local campaign, they will lose,
promise!

I hope you get the picture Melvin Carter.

It is time to clean house in local government.

Foster, God isn't done with you!

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Very sad outcome.

My sympathies to the Winn family.

Alex Wendt
East Side Pride

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bob. You better start with Chris Coleman. He had Finney listed as a co chair on his web site. The web site doesn't show Finney any more. But he was listed on there until last week. His picture was there to.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

William Finney
Retired
Retired Updated
Q2/2007

$250

Saint Paul MN

Donation to Mccollum For Congress

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time on Coleman Bob......he has taken care of himself for the next election.

4:56 AM  

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