Day fourteen of the Chantry trial resumed with the jury continuing their deliberation over the eight criminal counts. At 1:27 P.M. Judge Astrowsky advised Council from both sides that the jury had reached a verdict on counts 1, 6, 7 and 8 but they were at an impasse on counts 2-5. Their position on this had not changed since an early straw poll last Thursday. They had voted 9-3 in favor a guilty verdict.
At 1:36 P.M. Judge Astrowsky read the jurors some written instructions, advising them that the Court was in no way pressuring them to reach a decision on the remaining four counts, but rather offering some advice on what may help them reach a concensus.
At 4:07 P.M. Judge Astrowsky advised Council from both sides that the Jury remains deadlocked on counts 2-5 and the Jury had advised him that additional time will not help them come to a concensus. Judge Astrowsky then asked if either side objected to having the Jury come out and give their verdicts. There were no objections so the Bailiff went to call the Jury back into the courtroom.
At 4:13 P.M. the Jury returned and gave the envelope containing their verdicts to Judge Astrowsky. The courtroom was deathly silent as we waited to hear the verdicts. Judge Astrowsky looked the forms over and then had the Clerk read the verdicts aloud.
The Jury found Thomas Chantry not guilty on counts 1 and 8.
The Jury found Thomas Chantry guilty on counts 6 and 7.
The Jury was deadlocked on counts 2-5. A mistrial was declared on these four counts.
Judge Astrowsky thanked the jurors and said their service was now complete, they no longer had to comply with the admonition. He asked them to remain in a back room so he could come and personally thank them, and then they would be free to leave or to remain and answer questions from the two Attorneys.
Sentencing was scheduled for Friday, September 28th at 9:00 A.M. The parties also agreed to have a Status Conference on the same day to discuss the 4 counts on which the jurors were unable to come to a decision.
Ms. Eazer then asked Judge Astrowsky to change the conditions of Thomas Chantry’s release, specifically she wanted Chantry to be locked up until his sentencing. Judge Astrowsky dismissed her request.
On the surface this case looks like a clear win for Chantry; and admittedly the victims, their families and all who believed them and supported them are disappointed with the outcome. But let’s remember what was said by the Victims of Criminal Counts 6 and 7, the two counts Chantry was found guilty of.
Victim 3 (Count 6) said almost immediately Chantry started spanking him for unneccessary things. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said he saw his sister and D.L. spanked with a paddle, an oar that appeared to be for a kayak and his hand, and they were threatened with a belt. Chantry denied this.
D.L. and Victim 3’s sister witnessed Victim 3 being taken into Chantry’s house to be spanked because he wanted to draw something rather than play croquet. Chantry couldn’t recall this event happening.
Victim 3 said he was spanked with an oar for not putting his drink on a coaster quickly enough. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 was taken to Chantry’s office where Chantry took his pants down and spanked him with his hand. This because, again, he didn’t want to play croquet, but wanted to play pokemon and draw. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said the spankings he received were very hard. Afterwards Chantry would rub his bottom then force Victim 3 to hug him. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said Chantry told him not to tell his parents, if he did he would not get into heaven. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said Chantry told him if he disobeyed him he was disobeying God. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 was sometimes spanked for disobedience and sometimes for acts not yet committed. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said he didn’t want to play Monopoly so Chantry took him to his bedroom and told him to choose what he wanted to be spanked with, his hand or a belt. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 said he was spanked multiple times with his pants down and these spankings left bruises. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 told his parents and his dad talked to Chantry. Chantry continued to spank him more often and harder. Chantry denied this.
Victim 3 saw D.L. spanked a few times very hard with an oar. Chantry denied this.
Victim 4 (Count 7) said she was spanked for not using a coaster. Chantry was mad, yelled at her to follow him into his office and spanked her very hard with his bare hand. She had never been hit so hard and it took her breath away. She was then forced to hug him. Chantry denied this.
Victim 4 was told by Chantry that God wasn’t going to love her and her parents weren’t going to love her if she disobeyed him. Chantry denied this.
Lets remember that Thomas Chantry swore an oath to tell the truth, so help him God. The jury did not believe Chantry was honest. They did believe Victims 3 and 4 spoke truthfully.
Susan Eazer said the State intends to retry Chantry on the counts the jury could not come to a concensus on. She also said the State intends to bring additional charges of sexual molestation against Chantry from a new victim.
In speaking with Prosecutor Eazer after the case she told me that the jury had switched from 9-3 to 10-2 and one of the remaining 2 was leaning to voting guilty as well. She’s disappointed with the inability of the jurors to reach a guilty verdict on the remaining counts but is determined to retry the case and see that justice is done.