Obstruction of Justice
Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom
October 15, 2002
Susan Mokdad is one of the convicted defendants in the Florida Common Law Court Trial. Not that it was tried by Common Law, for, most assuredly, it was not. Rather, it was tried in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
THE COURT: All right. Please, sir, have a seat in
the witness stand. Mr. Watts is there to assist you. And I
will recognize Ms. Craig for your direct examination.
BY MS. CRAIG:
Q. Good morning.
A. Good morning. ma'am.
Q. Could you please state your occupation, Mr. Smith.
A. I'm an attorney.
Q. And how long have you been a practicing attorney in the
State of Florida?
A. 17 years.
Q. And licensed to practice in the Middle District?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. And how long have you been licensed to practice in the
A. 17 years.
Q. You represented a Susan Mokdad in a lengthy trial back
in 1997; is that correct?
A. Yes. ma'am: 10 weeks.
Q. The jury in that trial was what was classified as an
innominate jury; is that correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. After the trial did you become aware of the name or
names of one or more of the jurors?
A. I became aware of the name of one juror in that case.
Q. And would that be Juror 505?
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. Was this at a time where the possible juror misconduct
had been realized?
A. I realized that there was the potential for juror
misconduct on the part of that juror; yes.
Q. And Juror 505, that is Matthew Finch; is that correct?
A. That's the name that I learned, yes, ma'am.
* * *
(from page 36 of the transcript)
Q. Did you try and contact Matthew Finch?
A. Did I try to contact? No, I responded to a contact or
an advance that was made by that juror.
Q. Could you explain that to the court.
A. I can't remember the date, but I do remember I was on
my way to court from Pasco County where I reside --
THE COURT: Was it before or after you ordered that
THE WITNESS: I can't remember, Judge. I think it
would have been after.
But I did in fact have indirect contact with him
when I was on the way to court. My car broke down, the
clutch had broken, and I had parked my car at a Blockbuster
parking lot at Enterprise and McMullen-Booth Road. Fear of
it being towed, I put my card, my business card, on the
dashboard, with my cell phone number and my numbers,
whatever they were.
I got a ride to court. I sent my mechanic out to
work on my car. My mechanic informed me that he was
approached by a gentleman and said is this Ron Smith’s car?
He says yes. And he said, well, I'm 505. I know him. I was
in a trial with him for a long period of time. And he
mentioned that he was working at the Blockbuster Video.
I was told this by my mechanic. And in response to
that advance that was made, I stopped in at Blockbuster
Video. I left my card, probably with something written on
the back, feel free to call me if you want to discuss
anything or the case or -- I don't remember exactly what I
said, but it wasn't -- it was pretty I thought innocuous:
that if he wanted to talk to me about the case, that's
fine. I'm not going to make any advances to him.
Q. Did you in fact ever talk to Juror 505, Matthew Finch?
A. No, I didn't.
MS. CRAIG: Pass the witness, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Thank you, Ms. Craig.
Q. How did you come in contact with Mr. Smith’s business
A. He came into a Blockbuster Video Store
Q. Did he specifically come in to ask for you?
A. I have no idea what his nature of his business was in the
Q. Did you Talk?
A. No, not really. No.
Q. Did you make introductions?
Q. Did you approach him or did he approach you?
A. He came in the store and gave me his business card, at
which time I called and -- called the judge's chambers and
said that I had been approached by him and he gave me the
business card and wanted to get together and talk at lunch
is what it said on the back of the business card.
Mr. Finch, where was this store that you worked at
at the time you saw – Mr. Smith came with his business
THE WITNESS: The store that I was in at the time
was at McMullen-Booth and Enterprise Road in Clearwater
THE COURT: And you say he came into the store
while you were working inside there?
THE WITNESS: That is correct. He came into the
store and handed me his business card, wanted to get
together, have lunch, and discuss, you know, the case. And
he wrote that on the back of the business card -- wrote a
couple of phone numbers on the back of his business card.
And I believe that same day, after he left, I called and
reported to I believe your office. But I found~ it peculiar
that he had came into the store.
THE COURT: Did he call you by name when he came in
THE WITNESS: No, sir, he did not.
THE COURT: He recognized your face?
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, he did.
THE COURT: Do you know why he was in the store?
THE WITNESS: No, sir, I do not. He didn't rent
THE COURT: Would it refresh your memory if I said
his car broke down?
THE WITNESS: That might be correct.
THE COURT: Do you remember that or are you just
trusting me to not suggest something that is too off the
THE WITNESS: Right. That might have been the
case. It sounds about right, yes.
THE COURT: Did you see his car broke down?
THE WITNESS: I think I did, yes.
THE COURT: Did you go out to his car?
THE WITNESS: Not that I know of, no.
THE COURT: Did you ask him for his card?
THE WITNESS: No, sir; I did not.
THE COURT: Were you actually working in the store,
renting videos and whatnot, when he came in?
THE WITNESS: I was a training manager. And I
actually happened to be in that store training people at
that point in time.
THE COURT: Were you in there for a whole eight
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Was it -- you were -- so you were not
in that same store either, say, the day before or that next
day? Just that one day?
THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: And did you tell Mr. Smith that you
either would or would not meet him for lunch?
THE WITNESS: No, sir, I didn't discuss anything
with Mr. Smith.
THE COURT: He just gave you the card, you accepted
it, and said hi?
THE WITNESS: Hello, how are you doing, fine.
THE COURT: And then when you called my office, who
did you talk to?
THE WITNESS~ I'm not --
THE COURT: A man or a woman?
THE WITNESS: I believe it was a woman.
THE COURT: You didn't talk to me?
THE WITNESS I -- actually I believe I did talk to
you, but not at that point in time You had called me
THE COURT: I see.
THE WITNESS: --at a later date and we discussed
what had happened.
THE COURT: I see. And what did I tell you?
THE WITNESS: I don't recall. You said if I had
-- I believe you said if I had any more contact, then to
THE COURT: All right.
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