Lawyers for Westport’s Martha Stewart asked for a new trial today.They said one of the jurors who convicted her lied about an arrest on assault charges.
In a filing made in a New York federal court, Stewart lawyer Robert Morvillo said he would have sought to exclude juror Chappell Hartridge had he known about his past.
“These facts, in and of themselves, establish that Ms. Stewart is entitled to a new trial,’’ Morvillo wrote, according to news agency reports.
On the day of the guilty verdict, the juror said publicly that he believed the decision was “a victory for the little guys.”
“Hartridge’s characterization of the verdict immediately after he was released from jury duty as ‘maybe …a victory for the little guys who lose money in the market because of these kinds of transactions’ evidences a clear class bias on his part,” the papers said.
Stewart’s lawyers said the fact that Hartridge sought compensation from the media for post-trial interviews is also indicative that of his motive to profit from his jury service.
Stewart was convicted March 5 along with her broker, Peter Bacanovic, of obstructing justice and lying to the government about her sale of a block of stock in biotechnology company ImClone just before the price dropped.
She is scheduled to be sentenced June 17 and is widely expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison.