The judge in Bill Cosby’s retrial could replace a White juror with a Black alternate, changing the racial composition of the 12-person jury ahead of opening arguments on Monday.
Cosby’s defense team filed a motion late Friday afternoon to remove Juror number 11, a White man, because he was allegedly overheard saying that he already made up his mind about the entertainer’s guilt, CNN reported.
“I just think he’s guilty, so we can all be done and get out of here,” he was accused of saying by a prospective juror who wasn’t selected. His remark came while a small group of jurors were waiting for the judge to question them.
For now, the jury of seven men and five women, including two Black people, will sit for Cosby’s retail. Jury selection ended on Wednesday for the actor, who was once known as “America’s dad.” He stands accused of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women. But Andrea Constand‘s claims have been the only ones to result in a trial.
Throughout the selection process, the racial composition of the jury was a point of contention. The potential juror who alerted Cosby’s team about the man’s comment is African American. Cosby’s attorneys complained that the prosecutor struck her from serving on the jury for racial reasons, which the prosecutor denied.
If the judge decides to remove juror number 11, the first alternate is Black, giving Cosby a third African-American juror.
There were two African Americans—a man and a woman—on Cosby’s first jury. The defense had accused the prosecutor of trying to keep Black people from serving. Nevertheless, the first trial ended in a deadlock, in which jurors couldn’t reach a verdict after many hours of deliberation.