County attorney wants court to question jurors in negligent homicide case

By Barbara Tetreault

LANCASTER — Coos County Attorney John McCormick has filed a motion to question jurors in the Randy Baillargeon case.

The motion states four jurors in the case saw the forewoman hug Baillargeon and members of his family minutes after the jury found him not guilty of negligent homicide and two other felony charges.

Baillargeon, 34, of Berlin was charged with negligent homicide, reckless conduct and conduct after an incident in Berlin in August 2016. Kristin Black died of a severe head injury incurred in a fall while clinging to the outside of Baillargeon’s truck while he was driving. After a four-day trial in Coos County Superior Court last month, the jury found him not guilty of all charges.

In his motion to voir dire jurors, McCormick said the jury deliberated just over two hours before delivering its verdict at about 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.

Four jurors were mingling in the parking lot within 30 minutes of the verdict and reported they saw forewoman Melissa Gooden stop her car as she drove out of the employee parking lot.

“She then got out of her car, walked quickly to the defendant and his family. As she neared them, she opened her arms, as if to hug someone. She then hugged the defendant, his mother, and a man that I am guessing is his father,” wrote one of the jurors.

The motion said the four jurors reported what they had seen to the Superior Court monitor. The jurors were then directed by the clerk of court to write statements detailing what they had seen. The court provided copies of the statements to McCormick and Defense Attorney Len Harden.

McCormick is requesting the court reconvene the jury and question all the jurors individually or at least individually question the forewoman and the four jurors who witnessed the incident.

He argued the forewoman’s conduct in showing affection for the defendant “supports a claim that the jury may have been biased or tainted.”