Texting during trial sends juror straight to jail

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SALEM (AP) — A judge in Oregon noticed an unexpected glow on a juror’s chest while the courtroom lights were dimmed during video evidence in an armed-robbery trial.

The juror, it seemed, was texting.

Marion County Circuit Judge Dennis Graves cleared the courtroom and excused all jurors except Benjamin Kohler, 26. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Kohler couldn’t explain his actions.

Jurors in Oregon are given explicit instructions not to use cellphones in court.

Graves held Kohler in contempt, and Kohler spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in the county jail. He was released Wednesday night.

An alternate juror took his place. Sheriff’s spokesman Don Thomson said the trial ended Thursday with the defendant found guilty.

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