LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to text messaging a juror in a murder trial and urging her to vote for the defendant’s innocence.
James Banks, 55, was sentenced to 24 months in prison Friday after pleading guilty to jury tampering, a felony. Banks was accused of instructing a woman to send a message to a juror in the March trial of Dakota Cantwell, who was charged with first degree murder in the death of Jimmy Don Doyle of Bono.
Prosecutors said Banks’ message told the juror to vote not guilty with the intention of creating a new trial.
The juror who received the message was removed from the jury. Jurors later found Cantwell not guilty of first-degree murder, and found him guilty of arson and abuse of a corpse.