‘The nation was shocked’: Army Lt. files motion for new trial following verdict

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:16 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The attorneys representing Lt. Caron Nazario filed a motion for a new trial on Friday, followed by an unwanted verdict by a jury earlier this week.

“He was shocked, everybody was shocked, the nation was shocked,” Tom Roberts, who co-represents Nazario, said.

Roberts said letting Tuesday’s verdict stand would be a miscarriage of justice after his client was only awarded less than $4,000 for a controversial traffic stop in Windsor back in 2020.

“We have filed today a motion for a new trial,” Roberts said.

He said he feels the new trial is needed because the jury failed to find one of the police officers, Joseph Gutierrez, assaulted Nazario without also finding he battered and falsely imprisoned Nazario.

“In this circumstance, with the assault that the jury found, it triggers the right for him to have that reasonable resistance to say I’m afraid to get out of the car and to stay in his car,” Roberts said. “Therefore, everything they did after that point constitutes battery and assault.”

Roberts also said a psychiatrist who testified for the police officers did not believe Nazario had any mental health conditions due to the traffic stop.

He said the expert added their own criteria to determine PTSD, anxiety, and panic disorders.

“This is false evidence, and the verdict is based on that, and it should be set aside, and a new trial granted because of that,” Roberts said.

In a statement, Richard Matthews, who represents the other police officer, Daniel Crocker, said they feel the trial was free of error.

He said he feels the jury did a good thorough job and there is no basis to grant a new trial.

Roberts said a new trial is essential to show the justice system works.

“We’ve seen enough unrest, and the public has got to know that the system will work,” Roberts said. “This is significant, and a new trial is in order.”