The retrial of convicted felon, Thomas Chantry got underway Tuesday. I arrived in Camp Verde yesterday and plan on being in attendance for the entire trial. I hope to once again provide daily updates.
Chantry is charged with four counts of sexual molestation of a child while he was the pastor of Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott Arizona. The four counts involve one victim and allegedly took place in 1995 and 1996. These counts were tried in the first trial and resulted in a mistrial due to a hung jury.
I have been in court both days, the time has been spent selecting the jury. While there are some interesting and educational things one sees in the process of selecting a jury, for the most part it is rather slow-moving and dull. Even so, I recommend everyone observe the full process once in their life. I sat through the entire process for the first Chantry trial; the jury selection process has proceeded in much the same manner in this trial and I must admit I have not been in the courtroom for every minute.
To date the only outside observers have been Chantry’s wife, Karen, his sister, Judy Rogers, and I. Opening statements will be tomorrow morning and I would guess there will be more observers in attendance.
One lighthearted moment occurred this morning when Judge Astrowsky was questioning a potential juror who had responded affirmatively to his question of if they had read anything about the case prior to the start of the trial. (Many had read this article in their local paper.) When the judge asked the potential juror where he had read it, he responded, “in my house in Cottonwood.” I laughed to myself and immediately thought of this scene from the movie Phenomena.
That may well be the last lighthearted moment I will witness in this trial. Child molestation is a deeply emotional, somber subject and starting tomorrow things get very serious.
Today when I wasn’t in the courtroom I was sifting through official court documents for the case and came across a shocking revelation. Below is a copy of what I read. It appears that one corrupt juror in Chantry’s first trial has cost the Arizona taxpayers a huge amount of money. He has also, in my opinion, denied, or at least delayed justice from occurring in the Chantry case.
Rogue Juror in Thomas Chan… by on Scribd