A Bible in Jury Room May Mean Another Trial
STARKVILLE - An appeal is certain in Kristi Fulgham's future. In Mississippi, anyone sentenced to death automatically begins a long appeal process.
However, Fulgham's appeal may have some other implications centering on a Bible left in the jury room while the 12 deliberated on whether to sentence her to life in prison or death for capital murder.
Fulgham was convicted last week of murdering her husband Joseph "Joey" Fulgham in May 2003 at their Longview community residence. During the sentencing phase of the trial, it was discovered that a bailiff left his Bible in the jury room. When he returned for it, one of the jurors asked if they could keep it. About 15 minutes later, the jurors returned with a death sentence.
Jackson attorney James Lappan, who represents Kristi Fulgham, immediately requested a mistrial. Circuit Judge Lee Howard denied Lappan's request after asking the jury if the presence of the Bible affected their decision. All the jurors said it hadn't.