ITHACA, N.Y. — A new trial for Jeffrey Horton is set to begin Tuesday after his previous conviction on 11 charges, including first-degree rape, in 2016 was overturned.
Following the previous trial that spanned two weeks, a jury found Horton guilty of 11 of 14 charges including first-degree rape, third-degree assault and second-degree burglary.
Horton was previously found guilty of stalking, beating and raping a woman he knew at her residence between March 25 and 26, 2015. Horton consistently maintained his innocence to the major charges at trial.
After the conviction, Horton received a 12-year sentence with five years of post-release supervision. However, today, Horton is a free man after his conviction was overturned June 7.
According to a court summary, a pre-existing relationship between a juror and a witness for the prosecution led to the appellate division’s decision to overturn Horton’s conviction.
The court summary details that during jury selection, the potential juror informed the court that a prosecution’s witness was her primary care physician for the past 15 years. Though this was not necessarily the fundamental concern, the potential juror said they had the preconceived notion that the physician would be truthful during the trial, however, indicated that they would “hope” to be impartial to the physician’s testimony.
Additionally, the juror stated their husband had once been robbed at gunpoint and because the perpetrator “got off,” it made them cynical about the criminal justice system. Yet, they stated they “would try” to be impartial during trial. Furthermore, when asked questions during jury selection whether they could find the defendant guilty, the juror said “yes, you bet.”
Horton’s new trial is set to begin Tuesday morning with jury selection.
A list of the charges on which he will be re-tried are as follows:
- First-degree rape (felony)
- First-degree criminal sex act (felony)
- First-degree sexual abuse (felony)
- Third-degree aggravated sexual abuse
- Third-degree assault (felony)
- First-degree burglary (felony)
- Second-degree burglary (felony)
- Third-degree menacing (misdemeanor)
- Second-degree unlawful imprisonment (misdemeanor)
- Third-degree stalking (misdemeanor)
- Fourth-degree stalking (misdemeanor)