According to a court filing released Wednesday, a Virginia judge has rejected Amber Heard’s bid for a new trial stating, “Defendant has neither followed proper procedure nor shown evidence of prejudice.”
Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate has denied all of Heard’s motions to have the verdict of the defamation trial thrown out and re-tried, that found Heard guilty of defaming her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, where she described herself as a victim of domestic violence.
Lawyers representing Heard filed a motion earlier this month claiming that the verdict was not supported by evidence. They alleged that a juror who showed up to jury duty was not the person summoned for the trial. The documents claim that a 77-year-old was summoned for jury duty but a 52-year-old with the same name and address participated in the trial.
In court documents filed in Fairfax, Virginia on Friday, Heard’s lawyers stated that, “Juror No. 15 was not the individual summoned for jury duty on April 11, 2022, and therefore was not part of the jury panel and could not have properly served on the jury at this trial.”
Heard’s lawyers argue that, “When these safeguards are circumvented or not followed, as appears to be the case here, the right to a jury trial and due process are undermined and compromised.” The documents concluded, “Therefore, a mistrial should be declared.”
The judge tossed that claim, writing in her ruling that, “The juror was vetted, sat for the entire jury, deliberated, and reached a verdict.”
Chief Judge Azcarate Just Denied All of #AmberHeard’s Post-Trial Motions @CourtTV #breaking #johnnydepp pic.twitter.com/O85RP0rWNi
— Chanley Shá Painter (@ChanleyCourtTV) July 13, 2022
In the court documents released on social media, Judge Azcarate wrote that Heard’s legal team “had every opportunity to object” to the issue of Juror 15’s inclusion before or during the 7-week trial and that she saw “no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing.”
“Juror Fifteen was vetted by the Court on the record and met the statutory requirements for service. The parties also questioned the jury panel for a full day and informed the Court that the jury panel was acceptable. Therefore, Due Process was guaranteed and provided to all parties in this litigation,” the judge’s order read.
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