Juror misconduct could mean possible new trial for ex-firefighter Thomas Garrett

Garrett previously convicted of child molestation

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A retired firefighter convicted of child molestation may soon get a new trial.

On Thursday, more than two dozen supporters of Thomas Garrett broke into applause outside of a Chula Vista courtroom after learning he will likely get a new trial.

Garrett had been convicted on four of six counts of molesting a neighbor's child.

10News learned a juror contacted prosecutor Harrison Kennedy and complained that another juror could not understand English. Additionally, it was later learned that two jurors -- a male and female -- said they had been molested as children, something neither one brought up during jury selection.

"I'm never going to know whether that was a deliberate ambush or negligent oversight, I really don't know but the law says it doesn't matter," said James Pokorney, Garrett's attorney.

Garrett, a former San Diego firefighter for more than 30 years and the commodore of the Coronado Yacht club for a short term, faced 11 years or more on the conviction.

"Now we'll start from scratch and this time we hope we get a fair jury that reveals the truth during the selection process; that's all we want," Pokorney said.

Supporters told 10News at previous court appearances that they found it virtually impossible that the person they've known for all these years could have done such a thing.

The decision for a re-trial is up to the district attorney.

Garrett remains free on $350,000 bond.

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