Dennis DeMartin's latest bid for freedom was denied Tuesday, when Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath refused to release the former John Goodman juror while he appeals his nearly six-month jail sentence.
On Thursday, DeMartin's appellate attorney asked the judge to reconsider his decision from two weeks earlier to deny bail or release DeMartin on his own recognizance. Assistant Public Defender Paul Petillo cited the 70-year-old Delray Beach retiree's history of heart trouble, financial hardships, and other concerns in his "non-frivolous and fairly debatable" appeal.
But Colbath responded with a denial "without prejudice" order, meaning Petillo can submit another request with additional information for the court's consideration.
Petillo on Tuesday said he's planning another filing, while he also prepares DeMartin's challenge in the 4th District Court of Appeal. In his pleading last week, he argued DeMartin's appeal will take far longer than his jail sentence.
DeMartin has been in custody since Jan. 27. That's when Colbath found DeMartin guilty of two criminal contempt charges for his actions in March 2012 before convicting Goodman of DUI manslaughter in the 2010 death of Scott Wilson, 23.
The judge said DeMartin "willfully" lied during Goodman's jury selection when he was asked questions but didn't disclose an ex-wife's DUI arrest, and later violated court rules when he conducted a vodka drinking test at home before deliberating the Goodman verdict with the five other jurors.
On Jan. 28, Colbath imposed a sentence of five months and 29 days in jail, with DeMartin eligible to serve the final two months on house arrest. He denied bail on one of the charges, keeping DeMartin locked up during the appeal.
The judge said he was forced last year to vacate the Wellington polo executive's conviction and 16-year prison sentence "because of Mr. DeMartin's relentless refusal to abide by simple orders of the court."
Colbath said he wanted the DeMartin case to send a message to all citizens that jury duty must be taken seriously.
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