Tom Hanks jury duty ends after misconduct claim
- 12 September 2013
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
A US domestic violence court case, being heard by a jury which included US actor Tom Hanks, has come to an early end amid allegations of jury tampering.
The defence had asked for a mistrial citing misconduct after a member of the Los Angeles prosecutor's office approached the star during a break and thanked him for his service.
The defendant had been facing a year in jail if he had been convicted.
However a plea deal for disturbing the peace and a $150 (£95) fine was agreed.
The Oscar-winning Hollywood actor had been serving on the 12-person jury since the trial began last week.
Defence lawyer Andrew Flier told TMZ the incident happened during a lunch break on Wednesday when a female member of the LA City Attorney's Office approached Hanks - breaking rules on lawyers speaking to jurors outside the court room.
"The assigned prosecutor on the case gave notice to the court and myself, which was his duty of course under the ethics rules, that he either saw or was told that one of his colleagues had the contact with Mr Hanks. It was not the assigned trial prosecutor," he said.
"She made contact with Mr Hanks in the stairwell of the building. She came up to him and thanked him, and [said] how impressed everyone is that such a celebrity would still be here serving jury duty.
"So she, in essence, was being maybe a little star-struck and nice, but it's an absolute 100% no-no and should never have happened," he added.
After the defence called for a hearing to prove misconduct, both sides settled for the defendant to plead no contest to the minor charges.
City Attorney's Office spokesperson Frank Mateljan confirmed the interaction with Hanks, saying: "The city attorney has been appraised [sic] of the situation and will be reviewing it."
The actor has yet to make a comment on the incident.