A woman juror who married a man after voting to convict him of murder, rape and kidnaping has asked an appellate court to overturn the verdict because she was coerced.
Gwendolyn Wix, 41, was a juror in the murder trial of Steven Erickson, 34, found guilty on March 16, 1987, in the February, 1984, abduction and shooting death of Victoria Winchester, 26. Erickson could have received the death penalty but instead was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
San Fernando Superior Court jurors deliberated for 10 days during the penalty phase of the trial, with all but Wix in favor of a death sentence. The panel finally acceded to her point of view because they feared the case would have to be re-tried, Harry Godley, who was foreman of the jury, recalled Friday.
In March, Wix filed a seven-page declaration alleging impropriety on the part of her fellow jurors. She did not mention her marriage in the affidavit, but in a response to the document last month, the attorney general's office wrote that her marriage to Erickson had tarnished her credibility.