Jurors Claim They Were Coerced To Convict In Shooting Death Of Tempe Fire Captain

Published: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 3:53pm
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 3:54pm
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Maricopa County Clerk of Superior Court
Maricopa County Superior Court South Court Tower in downtown Phoenix.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge heard testimony Friday from a juror who felt coerced to convict Hezron Parks of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Tempe Fire Capt. Kyle Brayer. 

Judge George Foster Jr. had originally scheduled the sentencing hearing for Friday, but when a juror came forward saying they felt bullied and pressured to convict, the judge vacated the sentencing hearing and interviewed the juror. 

The judge will review the issue and determine if the jurors were actually coerced. If that’s the case, he can declare a mistrial, forcing prosecutors to try the case a second time before a new jury. 

Parks was arrested in February 2018 after a shooting incident in Old Town Scottsdale. According to court documents, Parks, driving a red Scion, began antagonizing and tailgating a golf cart carrying Brayer, repeatedly accelerating and slamming his brakes within inches of the cart. 

Brayer approached Parks, who then shot Brayer. Parks claimed self defense, but a lack of stippling on Brayer’s body and the location of the shell casing indicate Parks fired his weapon from outside the vehicle. 

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Brayer’s defense counsel have said they won’t comment on pending cases.

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