Lawyers for a former NYPD officer found guilty of manslaughter filed an appeal Tuesday, arguing that one of the jurors lied about his own father’s arrest in a similar case when the juror was a young child.
Michael Vargas, juror no. 9 in the trial of Peter LIang, told the New York Daily News that his father was sent to prison for accidentally shooting a friend to death nearly 40 years ago.
Liang was convicted of manslaughter in February in the death of Akai Gurley.
The motion, according to the report, accuses Vargas of lying when asked under oath if he anyone in his immediate family was ever accused of a crime. Liang’s lawyers are asking the court for a new trial.
“They are grasping at straws,” Vargas reportedly told the paper. “Do they really think I (convinced) 11 other jurors to convict him; they must be out of their minds.”
Attorneys for the convicted former officer reportedly state that Vargas “harbored doubts about the validity of his father’s manslaughter conviction, which took his father from the family for seven years. It appears he wanted to make sure that a police officer did not get off easy for similar conduct.”
Liang is scheduled to be sentenced next month.