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Dismissed juror in Zimmerman trial returns to court, gets escorted out

Jerry Counelis was booted as a potential juror in the Zimmerman murder trial Wednesday after attorneys found a scathing Facebook post he made about the case. (WFTV)
Jerry Counelis was booted as a potential juror in the Zimmerman murder trial Wednesday after attorneys found a scathing Facebook post he made about the case. (WFTV)
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Updated: 7/10/2013 9:30 am
SANFORD, Fla. (WFTV) -- A potential juror in the George Zimmerman trial who had been dismissed Wednesday returned to the Seminole County courthouse on Friday and had to be escorted out.

Friday, the Lake Mary man was trespassed from the courthouse and defense attorney Mark O'Mara called him a "stealth juror."

Eyewitness News at 10's Ryan Hughes was the only reporter to speak to Counelis Friday night.

Counelis said he thinks O'Mara is a liar, and said he never visited a pro-Trayvon Martin website.

He said Zimmerman's attorney has no proof he did. Counelis remains adamant that he told the whole truth in the Seminole County courthouse.

Since being dismissed, he said he's faced nothing but name-calling.

"I'm not a liar. I'm no stealth juror," Counelis said.

Counelis told the court Wednesday he forgot he responded to a Facebook post in 2012 that slammed the Sanford Police Department for not arresting Zimmerman.

"Now do you remember everything you've posted on Facebook over the past year or two years? Well, of course not," Counelis said.

Counelis, referred to in court as juror E7, said his name has been dragged through the mud since he was dismissed.

"I tried to let it go for the last two days. It ain't going away. It ain't going away," Counelis said.

He said he fears the six jurors who hear the case though will face great hardship once the trial is over.

So he said he went to the Seminole County courthouse Friday afternoon to try to get better protection for the jurors.

He was banned from the property after an incident report said he pointed his finger at the jury assembly room and said, "Do they know what they are in for?"

"I wouldn't want to be on this jury for nothing," Counelis said.

Late Friday,O'Mara sounded off on the former prospective juror.

"A juror like that, what we call a 'stealth juror,' is unbelievably dangerous," O'Mara said. 

O'Mara said behind-the-scenes investigative work found the Facebook information, and his team plans to vet the jurors even more going forward.
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nativejax - 6/15/2013 8:26 PM
0 Votes
The 'crooked' fruit don't fall too far from the tree. Mommy and daddy, who didn't want anything to do with their son and his thug'behavior' dumps him out and now gets millions from the HOA they dump him out in, even BEFORE Zimmerman gets a chance at a fair trial? THIS is what America has become, "YOU OWE ME..and ONE WAY OR ANOTHER YOU WILL PAY"...A whole CULTURE of thug mentality. And the govment is RIGHT IN ON IT by giving out that 'entitlement' ebt cards at the tax payers expense. Zimmerman is a scapecoat to appease the thugs with their sorry riot threats. Let them riot, or boycot...who the h3ll cares...they will only hurt themselves more.

Pe535 - 6/15/2013 7:22 PM
0 Votes
Yep funny how that works isn't it?? They portray Trayvon as this innocent little kid! Which in reality he wasn't a kid at all. He got in trouble at school, had a gun in his hand, smoked weed but none of that can be entered. But, any and everything can be put in the trial about Zimmerman. Anything bad he's ever done can be admitted into evidence but no they want you to believe Trayvon was just an innocent kid and Zimmerman was this evil man! Sorry not buying it and I damn sure hope the jurors don't buy the states BS.

Realchange - 6/15/2013 11:48 AM
3 Votes
He has already convicted Zimmerman. If you look at all the things leading up to this case they have merit. Travyon was portrayed as innocent school kid but the real picture is different person. Zimmerman is no angel but look at as your the watch captain there have been break-ins then you see a supcisous character. You know this guy is up to no good. If this situation had unfolded with a police officer in the exact same scenario there would be no trial a quick internal investigation then business as usal. In translation you can think someone is up to no good keep an eye on them till police arrive, but if that person attacks you then you have no right to defend yourself. You must let them kill you or suffer a murder trial authorized by political prosecutors and judges. Afterward when it comes out the deceased was in trouble in school and with authorities previously that will be prevented from being revealed in the court case. Sounds fair right? Put yourself in the shoes of the defendant and ask what if that situation had unfolded with me. I got this guy attacking me bashing my head into the concrete. Do I shoot or not? The only way this shooting is not justified if Zimmerman attacked Martin first, and based on the pictures of his hands I don't believe that happened.
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