News10NBC Investigates: The Moochie Marshall juror letters ‘We failed you and the family’
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — What happens with a jury is almost always a mystery, but News10NBC has a story that takes you inside the room.
It involves the death of a 3-year-old boy named Kei’Mere "Moochie" Marshall and the jury that found the man on trial not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
In letters to the boy’s family and the district attorney’s office, jurors said 11 of them wanted to vote for murder but there was one hold-out who wouldn’t change.
The letters are full of regret, anger, sadness and explanations about the verdict they delivered.
One letter is addressed to the Moochie’s family and his godmother came here to read it.
"Deaire, here are the letters from two jurors," I said sliding the letters across the table.
Deaire Phillips is the godmother of Moochie Marshall.
Moochie died in July 2020.
He was beaten so badly his injuries were the same as if he had been hit by a car.
On Jan. 27, a jury found Anthony Love guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of murder.
In one letter to Moochie’s family, a juror wrote "there was no question in my mind, nor the mind of all but one of the jurors that Anthony Love is a monster who depravedly tortured a sweet tiny boy."
The jury deliberated for three days and now we know why.
In an email to the prosecutors, another juror wrote the hold out juror "wouldn’t listen to reason" and "Many of us tried to the bitter end for hours and hours."
"I’m speechless," Phillips said. "We wish the 11 other jurors didn’t change their mind. I just want them to know when you gave a gut feeling and you’re serious about something, never change your mind."
A juror wrote "to my dying day will regret that we could not have delivered that verdict," meaning murder.
Another told the prosecutors they were concerned that Love would go free if they couldn’t agree and said "we failed you and the family" and said the 11 jurors compromised on manslaughter so the family wouldn’t have to go through another trial.
"They said they didn’t want to put us through this. I would rather go through this five times to get what we need to get," Phillips said.
Murder is a life sentence. With manslaughter Love will get a fixed sentence anywhere from five to 25 years in prison, at which point Love will be 59.
"And then what?" Phillips asked.
After the verdict, Phillips admited she was angry at the jury. The whole family was. But she says the letters show some of the jurors are in pain too.
"Y’all didn’t let us down as much as y’all think. Y’all didn’t let us down. That’s what should be said. We are very grateful for what you all did and the time you all took," she said. "Even [the letter], this support. This whole letter right here, this is love."
I asked the district attorney’s office for the letters.
They gave them to me but declined to talk about them until Anthony Love is sentenced on March 3.
Love’s attorney, Peter Pullano, declined to comment on the story.