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Court Investigating “MADD” Claims in DUI Trial

A judge has denied the re-trail of a Cathedral City man convicted of 2nd degree murder in a drunk driving crash.

Jason Pappas, 38, was supposed to be sentenced two weeks ago, but it came out that one of the jurors in his trial may have been a member of the group “Mothers Against Drunk Driving.”

Pappas’ attorney Tom Steelman asked for a tretrial.

The court contacted several of the women on the jury.

Two of the them said they remember someone talking about “MADD” but can’t remember who or where they heard it.

The judge says there’s not enough evidence for a re-trail, at least for now.

Steelman is now working to get membership records from “MADD.”

“If they release the names to you, fine, and if one of the names is one of the jurors on this case I guess we have to,” said Judge David Downing. “If they don’t release the names I’m not going to.”

The defense has until September 24th to get those membership records. If Judge Downing still feels there’s not enough evidence for retrial, he’ll more on to sentencing. It’s tentatively set for October 1st.

KESQ News Team

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