Breaking News Emails
An alternate juror who sat through Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial but didn't get to deliberate said he would have voted to convict, but isn't shocked the case ended with a hung jury.
"We had a hard time deciding where to go for dinner," said Mike McCloskey, a school cafeteria director. "We had so many personalities in the room."
McCloskey was one of four alternates selected in the event that one of the 12 regular jurors couldn't fulfill his or her duty. The alternates listened to all the testimony but were sent to a different room once deliberations began.
Six days later, McCloskey and the other alternates were called into the courtroom and informed that the judge had declared a mistrial because the jury couldn't decide if Cosby had drugged and molested Andrea Constand in 2004.
"You know, he congratulated us, and commended us for the job we did. But I felt like we let Andrea down," McCloskey said. "I felt like we could have brought justice. But unfortunately being an alternate, I didn’t have a decision in that matter."
None of the 12 regular jurors have spoken since they were dismissed on Saturday after 52 hours of deliberation failed to yield a verdict. The judge warned them not to disclose what happened behind closed doors, especially since the district attorney plans to try Cosby again.
McCloskey said on the five-hour trip home — the jurors were chosen in the Pittsburgh area but the trial was held near Philadelphia — no one revealed how the panel was leaning or how many holdouts there were.
"The bus ride home was very somber, very quiet," he said. "It was very eerie, and nobody talked about anything. It was one of the eeriest bus rides I’ve been on."
McCloskey, however, was happy to share his views about some of the evidence and testimony:
- On the accuser: "I felt her to be a very, very honest person," he said of Constand, who maintained her composure during seven grueling hours on the witness stand.
- On Constand's mother: "I just wanted to hug this lady. I could actually feel for what she was going through and felt her pain as well as for Andrea."
- On Cosby's celebrity: "It really didn’t come up that much that we talked about him being a big star or anything...I think maybe he’s passed that point where he’s not as big a star as he was to us."
- On Cosby's deposition: "I was blown away by what was read. You know, you picture this guy who’s Cliff Huxtable, who was America's dad for so long, and to hear the things that they were talking about was very shocking."
- On calls Constand made to Cosby: "There were several phone calls that were extremely long, like maybe a half-hour, 40 minutes. But most of them are like a minute, two minutes long and I felt like she was just returning calls and stuff like that."
Cosby's defense attorney, Angela Agrusa, told NBC News that her team also has no idea how the jury was leaning, but praised the panel members for their diligence.
"You could see in their faces from the morning to the night that they took their jobs seriously," she said.
'I just wanted to hug this lady.'
"In hindsight, based on facial expressions and reactions to evidence, there were several jurors fixed against Mr. Cosby," she added.
But in the end, she said, "there was simply not enough evidence in the record for them to reach a conviction."
Agrusa, a civil lawyer who never worked a criminal case before the Cosby trial, called the outcome "bittersweet" but said the star's publicist wasn't wrong to call it a victory.
“Any time your client gets to walk out of the courtroom and spend the night in their own bed, celebrate Father's Day with their family, is a victory," she said.