posted on August 24, 2012 16:34
Jacquetta Simmons has been found guilty.The 27-year old Batavia woman was found guilty of 2nd Degree Assault under New York’s Elder Law in Genesee County Court Friday afternoon.
It took the jury of 10 women and two men about 3 and half hours to reach a unanimous verdict that Simmons did in fact deliberately punch 70-year old Grace Suozzi at Wal-Mart last Christmas Eve.
A stone faced Simmons left the courthouse immediately after, she was released on her on accord until her sentencing date.
The jurors came to their decision after asking to watch the surveillance footage from Wal-Mart several times.
"The video is unclear. I don’t know what they saw. In certain spots the video is not very clear, I don’t know if they saw it the way I saw it," said Key.
District Attorney Larry Friedman said he feels Simmons did get a fair trial and justice was served for Grace Suozzi. He said he feels jurors wanted to look at the surveillance footage a few times to be certain. He talks about the video.
"You know it was not 100 % coverage of every step and that was established through the man who testified from Wal-Mart but, it was quite good I think and obviously if you had every possible view on what was happening that might have made this an even quicker verdict," said Friedman.
Key also said he felt media coverage definitely hurt Simmons chance at a fair trial. He said that during jury selection there were more people that heard about the case then those that did not.
However, Friedman disagreed. "We went through an unusually large number of people to seat a jury. Obviously there were a lot of people who came through saying they had seen coverage, way more than we’re used to, and they had formed an opinion and, unfortunately, many people said they couldn’t set those opinions aside, and of course they didn’t wind up on the jury," said Friedman.
He noted that the media was not allowed to use their cameras and equipment until the very end.
Simmons will be sentenced on November 14th. She faces probation to up to 7 years in prison.
(Photo Courtesy of The Batavian)