DA Hunt confirms investigation of Abril under way on allegations of jury tampering

Published 5:22 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2008

by Jeff ByrdDistrict Attorney Jeff Hunt Wednesday evening confirmed that he has called for an investigation of allegations of jury tampering by Polk County Sheriff Chris Abril.Abril&39;s trial was moved from Polk County by Judge Zoro Guice Jr. Wednesday after allegations were revealed Tuesday by the state prosecutors that Abril had personally called a potential juror on Saturday evening. The trial will now take place in November in Buncombe County.&bsp;But the allegations of jury tampering involved in Abril&39;s phone call to a juror, prosecutors said, will be dealt with seperately and not be part of the rape trial.&bsp;&uot;I have asked the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to further investigate the matter based on what was reported to me by those who were present at trial when the allegations were revealed in court,&uot; Hunt said. He said the SBI, which has begun conducting interviews in the investigation, will file that report with him when it is completed.&bsp;In talking with the press after the court session today, Abril&39;s attorney Stephen Lindsay said further investigation of the phone call incident is required and initial impressions may be inaccurate.

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