Two weeks ago the post-verdict world of the Anand Jon case was shaken once more when the fashion designer's defense produced a scratchy recording of Jon's sister, Sanjana Alexander, on the phone with Alvin Dymally. Dymally is allegedly a maverick juror who improperly reached out to Alexander before he and his fellow jurors began deliberations on the sexual assault charges facing Jon. On November 13, 2008, that jury convicted Jon of 15 assault counts and a single count of rape, but the apparent interference of Dymally has postponed any sentencing and has bolstered the defense's motion for a new trial.
Judge David Wesley is clearly becoming impatient with the increasingly complicated morass resulting from attempts to learn when, how and why Dymally and Alexander had communicated with one another before and after the verdict. Two Fridays ago Dymally had spent most of the day parrying defense attorney Leonard Levine's questions intended to get an admission from Dymally that he had spoken to Alexander during the trial. After Dymally stated that his contact only came after the trial had ended, Levine dramatically introduced the recording of Dymally, made without the latter's knowledge, created by Alexander at a phone pay during the trial. Although the clearest sounds are Alexander's voice and ambient traffic noise, a transcript provided by the defense indicates the voice on the other end belongs to Dymally.
A kind of controlled chaos has ensued, with the recording being sent to an FBI
lab for enhancement and Dymally appearing in court this morning for a
ritual interrogation by Levine, as Dymally reliably fell back on the Fifth Amendment to decline any
questions about his contacts with Sanjana Alexander. Now, because of
attorney scheduling conflicts, the FBI tests and summer vacations, the
next hearing will not happen until July 6. In the meantime,
co-prosecutor Frances Young has been grilling Alexander for the rest of
this morning about when, how and why Alexander conducted contacts with
The most serious consequence of these hearings could be a
decision by Judge Wesley to throw out the verdict and order a new trial. However, there are other unsettled issues, such as whether or not
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Dymally is liable for prosecution for his contacting Alexander during
the trial -- and why the defense waited until the end of May to produce
the recording, made on an MP3 player, that technicians are now in the
process of tweaking.