CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jane Wester/Charlotte Observer) - A Charlotte man has been charged with harassing a juror after texting her in court while he was sitting across the courtroom as the defendant, according to a search warrant.
Wesley Westbrook, 34, has been charged with offering a bribe in connection with the same case.
He was appearing in court on other charges on Sept. 26, 2017, when the judge asked a group of potential jurors if they knew any reason why they couldn't be on the jury.
One potential juror stood up and said she knew Westbrook.
The judge didn't dismiss her right away. While sitting at the defense table that afternoon, Westbrook sent the potential juror two texts, the search warrant said.
"Wow could've saved my life," the first text said. Forty-five minutes later, he wrote again to ask the woman how she was going to act.
The next day, the potential juror left the courthouse and got a phone call from a man saying he was Westbrook's cousin. He asked her to help Westbrook, and she hung up.
Two minutes later, Westbrook and his cousin called back, the search warrant said.
"The defendant (Westbrook) advised the victim what to say in court and that his lawyer was going to get rid of about 4 or 5 of the remaining potential jurors," the search warrant said.
Hours later, after the potential juror had gone home, Westbrook showed up at her front door. He told her to say anything she needed to say to get picked for the jury.
He urged her to say she didn't know him, despite what she had told the judge the day before, the search warrant said. Westbrook suggested she tell the court she had been referring to his lawyer and not him.
Westbrook offered her $500 for missing work while she would be on the jury, the search warrant said, though he told her he didn't have the money right then.