Director Billy Corben Off the Hook for Tweeting During Jury Duty
Billy Corben, Miami's master documentarian, has found himself innocent on charges of being a "Tweeting twit."
Corben, director of films like The U and Cocaine Cowboys, pulled jury duty earlier this year and updated his Twitter and Facebook followers about the inanities of sitting on a jury, but never mentioned details of the case. Corben and his fellow jurors ultimately convicted Angelo Williams of armed robbery, but the convict's lawyer tried to get the ruling overturned on the basis of Corben's Tweets. However, a judge decided today that the original trial will stand.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jose L. Fernandez called Corben "a model juror, but for this." Fernandez ruled that the there's no evidence the web postings violated Williams' right to a fair trial.
Corben merely cracked jokes about things like the jury holding room's preference for playing Sandra Bullock movies, and the view from the courthouse of the new Marlins Park. None of his updates mentioned the actual trial.
So Corben will not be held in contempt of court and Williams' conviction stands. Williams has not yet been sentenced, but could face up to 30 years in jail.
Somewhere Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago, who memorably called Corben a "Tweeting twit" in a bizarre column, is surely smacking herself and pouring a stiff drink.