SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A juror in the San Diego rape trial of a former Yuma, Arizona police officer was dismissed from the jury early Tuesday morning.
The judge in the case against Jared Elkins was informed by the prosecution that a juror was seen speaking with a family friend of Elkins on Monday outside of the courtroom.
10News learned the friend and the juror were questioned before Superior Court Judge Charles G. Rogers, and both said they talked about Horton Plaza, firefighting and the San Diego State Aztecs.
After hearing from both parties, San Diego Superior Court Judge Charles G. Rogers became frustrated, telling the court, “I’m really unhappy about this.”
Rogers went on to say he would dismiss the juror and replace that juror with an alternate. Three alternate juror numbers were written on slips of paper and the judge allowed Elkins to draw one slip at random.
The jury was called into the courtroom, and the original juror was dismissed and replaced.
Rogers reiterated to the jury that it’s unacceptable to hold a conversation with any of the parties close to this case.
“If anything like this happens again the sanctions will be more severe,” he said.
Following the juror replacement, the trial continued with cross-examination of the alleged victim in the case.
Elkins is accused of raping his wife’s cousin while staying at her home in Kensington during a visit in September 2017. The rape allegedly happened as his wife slept in the room next door.
During questioning by Elkins’ lawyer, the alleged victim became increasingly and obviously frustrated with the way some questions were worded in a way that implied the sex was consensual rather than rape.
The judge asked the lawyer to rephrase some questions because of this.
A 911 call made that night is expected to be played in court later in the day.
Elkins, 34, is facing nine felony charges, including forcible rape. If convicted, he could face up to 14 years in prison.
Elkins served in the Yuma Police Department for seven years before resigning.