Juror causes mistrial after posts on social media

By Sadef Ali Kully

A Queens jury forewoman caused a mistrial Wednesday after using her cell phone to post comments on social media during an armed robbery case in Queens Criminal Court

State Supreme Court Judge Ira Margulis declared a mistrial due to jury misconduct during the trial of an armed robbery suspect who was pictured in video surveillance, according to official court sources.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office confirmed the jury forewoman was using social media to comment on the trial despite being forewarned by the court not to discuss the case.

“The juror could face contempt of court charges as a result,” a spokeswoman for the DA’s office said.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant, 42-year old Sandess Pierre, was charged with first-degree robbery, a felony offense.

In March 2014, Pierre allegedly robbed a woman near the corner of 211th Street and 104th Road in Queens Village, according to the complaint. The victim said Pierre showed her a black firearm and told her to “drop her bag,” the document said.

The victim dropped her bag and cell phone, which Pierre allegedly grabbed and fled the scene, prosecutors contend.

Detective Gary Haber of the 105th Precinct said Pierre confirmed he was the man in the video surveillance, according to the complaint.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.