Sypher juror: 'We had to do what was right by the law'

Brian Ross
Brian Ross
Glen Elder
Glen Elder
Phyllis Banks
Phyllis Banks
Charles Smith
Charles Smith

Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With so much evidence and testimony presented over eight days, jurors in the Karen Sypher extortion trial had a lot to go through during deliberations. We talked with several members of the jury, including the foreman. The biggest message from the jurors we spoke with was that the panel took its time and only based its decision on what was presented in court.

Two days and a total of six hours of deliberations is what it took for the federal jury in the Sypher extortion trial to unanimously decide on a guilty verdict.

"None of us said she's guilty of everything right off the bat," said Brian Ross, one of the jurors. "We just did it each charge by each charge."

"I do believe the verdict that we came up with, the guilty verdict, on all six counts was justified," said Glen Elder, the jury foreman.

"I think she lied," said Phyllis Banks. "I think she was looking for a way to improve her life. I think it was her scheme to begin with and it just sort of fell apart."

Elder says the guilty verdict stems from what the 12 members of the jury that took part in the deliberations heard in court.

"We all discussed the case. We discussed all of the testimony that we heard and took time to make sure that everyone on the jury was heard," Elder said.

In the end, Ross said the jury decision came down to the fact that "we had to do what was right by the law."

Charles Smith said the decision boiled down to evidence.

"It was a hard decision," said Smith. "I mean, we're human beings, but we came to a decision based off the evidence provided."

During the eight days of testimony, only the prosecution called witnesses and introduced several pieces of evidence. The defense did not call anyone to testify, not even Karen Sypher. The only things the jury heard from Sypher were the previous interviews she did with a television station and police.

"I've heard a lot of testimony from her and I don't really know what she could have said that was different," Ross said. "I don't think she would have come up with anything revolutionary."

During deliberations, Ross says the jury thought about those affected by the case.
"I have sympathy for everybody involved because this is a case that all around just stunk," said Ross.

Banks agreed and said she has sympathy for Sypher.

"How can you not, you know," said Banks. "She is a mother. She has children. She has a young daughter. We actually talked about ... We need to say a prayer and let the healing begin because there is a lot of healing."

Ross, Elder, Banks, and Smith all said the guilty verdict was not taken lightly.

"I just thought that they, that the jury that we had was an extremely fair group of people," Elder said.

"I wanted to make sure I had no doubts and I could sleep good tonight," said Ross.

When asked if he would, Ross said, "Yeah." He also hopes Sypher can get help.

"If she can come out of this a better person, that's all I care about," said Ross.

Sypher remains free on her own recognizance. She will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III on October 27 at 10 a.m. It will be up to Simpson to determine Sypher's sentence.

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