A few hours after she and 11 other jurors found Don Hill and his four co-defendants guilty of 23 of the 29 charges against them in the Dallas City Hall corruption case, Rowlett resident Nedra Frazier gave me a behind-the-scenes peek at the deliberations. Much like my lengthy interview with Don and Sheila Hill, the majority of my conversation with Frazier didn't make it into the cover story in the current paper version of Unfair Park because of space constraints, so I've again pulled together the highlights in the form of a Q & A after the jump.
Frazier, a 43-year-old wife and mother of two children, had planned on spending the last few months trying to find a new job to replace the one she held for 10 years at Avaya, a telecommunications company, which had been shipped overseas to India at the end of January. Instead, a last-minute challenge in June by the defense alleging that the prosecution had been eliminating jurors based on race resulted in her addition as the last of four black jurors selected.
Because the case involved several defendants and numerous counts, Frazier endorsed a plan to discuss each count as it appeared on the jury's verdict form, which juror Rachel Secore of Dallas confirms. Each count was read out loud, followed by the definitions of the counts, the count as it appeared in the indictment and then the definitions once again. "There was a lot of discussion about the definitions. That part we took very seriously," Secore says.
The jury spent the most time discussing count 20, Frazier says, eventually finding both Hill and Darren Reagan not guilty. "There just wasn't enough evidence on that one." After that decision, jurors took a second look at approximately four other counts, especially regarding Sheila Hill's and Rickey Robertson's involvement. "There were several we had to go back and just really, really think about it and talk about it."