Atoka Juror Admits Wrong Decision

5-16-06 - An Atoka County juror claims she was pressured into convicting a man for murder earlier this year.

Marcus Manion was charged with murder last July after the disappearance of Berry Pebworth, and three months ago was sentenced to life in prison.

Juror Linda Bigbie says it's a decision that continues to haunt her. They had heard both sides of the case and were set to deliberate. But then she says they were given something extra to think about.

Marcus Manion was convicted of first degree murder in February, but Bigbie says it was a verdict that should have never been returned.

In a letter written six weeks after the verdict she says two jurors weren't comfortable with the first degree murder charge, and that Manion was not proven guilty by prosecutors who claimed he killed Berry Pebworth during a camping trip last year she goes on to say that she does not think Manion is innocent but was mischarged.

Facing other jurors voting guilty, she went along, a decision she regrets. Bigbie says she and the other juror would have been more comfortable with a second degree murder charge.

After the letter from Bigbie, a motion for a new trial was made, a motion that was denied three weeks ago. The new trial was denied since jurors are unable to impeach their verdict unless outside influence was a factor.