Judge refuses to unseal juror info in pot trial | TheUnion.com

Judge refuses to unseal juror info in pot trial

The defense attorney for a South County couple found guilty of possessing marijuana for sale was denied in her bid to obtain juror information and, potentially, discover any possible grounds for a reversal.

Nevada County narcotics detectives had served a search warrant at the Blue Heron Way residence of Nancy and Craig Krekorian on July 17, 2014, after spotting the couple’s marijuana grow during an overflight. Sheriff’s deputies testified during the trial in Nevada County Superior Court that they found 144 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, along with five medical marijuana recommendations.

After the couple’s arrest, Craig Krekorian, who is disabled and who is on Social Security, reportedly told Det. John Dzioba they would deliver their excess marijuana to a Southern California dispensary and would be paid about $2,000 a pound; he estimated they made about $100,000 to $200,000 a year, and said he knew selling it was illegal but that the couple needed to supplement their income.

Nancy Krekorian reportedly told Det. Mark Hollitz she sold marijuana to pay her bills, and said she made about $25,000 in 2014, and had spent $15,000 for supplies.

She reportedly told Hollitz she didn’t know what a collective was, and she didn’t know the names of the buyers.

During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Oliver Pong argued that the jury should rely on the tape-recorded interviews made at the time of the search, rather than on evidence presented at the trial by defense attorney Jennifer Granger showing that the Krekorians were part of a medical collective that subsequently destroyed its records.

Nancy and Craig Krekorian were each found guilty on felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale; the couple was found not guilty on felony charges of cultivating marijuana.

Granger called the split verdict “inconsistent” and “puzzling,” and said at the time the jury might have been confused about how the medical marijuana defense applied to the case.

On Monday, Granger argued that Judge Candace Heidelberger should grant her motion to disclose personal juror information, saying there was no reason to fear an attempt to intimidate.

“I don’t have the kind of information I would like to have to establish good cause” to obtain juror information, she said.

Pong, however, told Heidelberger there was not enough of a reason to disclose that information, since there was no hint of juror misconduct. Heidelberger agreed, telling Granger she couldn’t release the information solely for a fishing expedition.

The Krekorians are scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Nov. 9 and face up to three years in jail.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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