Watson trial: Defense files for new trial - Tucson News Now

Watson trial: Defense files for new trial

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A motion for a new trial has been filed after the conviction of David Watson, a former Tucson Fire Captain was found guilty of the murder of his ex-wife, her mother and her mother's friend.

The paperwork was filed Tuesday, March 28, followed by supporting documents on Wednesday, March 29, according to Pima County Superior Court Records.

The motion was unavailable to view at the time of publishing this story, but a notice from the trial's judge Honorable Deborah Bernini was.

The notice provides an explanation from the judge following what she described as "unjustified concerns" from the defense team.

It describes Bernini and the prosecuting team meeting with most of the jurors for any questions they might have after the verdict.

The defense team was not part of the brief meeting, but Watson's co-counsel Natasha Wrae said Wednesday that the situation wasn't a major factor for their motion for a new trial, which is a form of post-conviction relief for defendants.

Wrae said there were multiple reasons including the weight of the evidence not supporting conviction, misconduct by the prosecutors, and the defendant not being provided a fair and impartial jury trial.

The motion should not be a surprise given the length of the trial, according to Wrae. She said it's a 'shot in the dark' but judges have granted them in previous cases.

*Clarification* - Tucson News Now learned after publication of this story that the "shot in the dark' comment was out of context. Wrae stated it was in reference to the unlikely chance of finding a juror who could speak to the defense team's grievance of the judge and prosecutors meeting with jurors after the verdict was read. Wrae clarified that the defense team believes there are good grounds for starting a new trial, which is why the motion was filed.

In this situation, a hearing would be scheduled for the defense to present its case and the judge would decide if a new trial is warranted.

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