CHICAGO, Illinois (AP)—A jury that included talk show host Oprah Winfrey convicted a man of murder Wednesday after a trial that turned into a media frenzy because of the billionaire in the jury box.
Jurors deliberated for more than two hours before convicting 27-year-old Dion Coleman of first-degree murder in the February 2002 shooting death of 23-year-old Walter Holley. Coleman is scheduled to be sentenced in September and he could face 45 years to life in prison.
"It's a huge reality check, there's a whole other world going on out there. ... When your life intersects with others in this way, it is forever changed," Winfrey said outside the Cook County Criminal Courts Building, flanked by other jurors.
Winfrey, who was paid $17.20 a day for her civic duty, said she plans to do a show about the trial next week with other jurors.
Winfrey's selection as a juror Monday drew loads of attention to the trial. Television cameras chronicled her moves outside and inside the bustling lobby of the courts building because cameras weren't allowed in the courtroom. Filling many of the seats in the cramped courtroom were more than a dozen reporters and sketch artists.
Wonder how long it'll be before the defense claims "undue influence" or something, especially if Winfrey was the jury foreman?