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First Zoom trial conducted in Idaho

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

BOISE, ID—Court proceedings began Monday for former Idaho State Treasurer David Martin, who resigned last year after being accused of embezzling $3 million in state funds. Martin, 56, was supposed to stand trial in March but the Covid-19 pandemic caused a series of delays. Not wanting to wait any longer, U.S. District Court Judge Emily Burks ordered what is believed to be the first trial conducted on Zoom – a popular online meeting program. The following is the unedited transcript:

Prosecutor Jordan Wiggins: Your honor, members of the jury, we the State of Idaho will present indisputable evidence that former State Tr…id Martin did embez…st…und…

Judge Burks: Counselor Wiggins, it sounds like you are…

Wiggins: Over the course of eight months…I’m sorry, your honor, did you say something?

Burks: You cut out for a second, but it’s fine now, please continue.

Wiggins: Yes, your honor. Over the course of eight months in 2017, Mr. Ma…collu…accounts with h…pur…

Burks: I’m sorry, counselor, you aren’t coming through, can you…

Juror No. 3: Try using Chrome instead of Firefox.

Burks: Juror 3, please do not speak. You are here to listen only.

Juror No. 3: Sorry, your honor.

Defense Attorney Josh Calvin: I’m on Firefox and it’s working perfectly. Your honor, do you know if he’s using wireless? Tell him to get closer to the router if so.

Burks: Counselor Calvin, I have no idea, but we need to maintain decorum and until…

Wiggins: …six payments made to a bank account belonging to Bill Martin, David’s brother.

Burks: Mr. Wiggins, so sorry, but we didn’t get most of that. I know this is irregular but could you start over?

Wiggins: OK, I’ll just begin with the evidence showing that Mr. Martin hir…ookers…aine..rg

Calvin: Did he say “hookers”? Your honor, we object!

Juror No. 3: Sounded like “ookers” to me.

Burks: Juror 3, please!

Assistant Defense Attorney Brian Jones: I thought he said “euchre” like the card game.

Burks: Really? You think that during a corruption trial he’s talking about a card game nobody under the age of 80 plays?

Jones: Hey, I play it and I’m not that old!

Juror No. 7: Sadie, I don’t know where the peanut butter is. I can’t right now, mommy has to listen to the trial.

Burks: EVERYONE STOP TALKING! Please, everyone except Mr. Wiggins put your computer on mute.

Juror No. 3: Which one is the mute button?

Twelve hours later, David Martin was found …ilty on th… of …ive counts.

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Kathryn Duncan
Kathryn Duncan
Jul 13, 2020

Sounds like some of my teaching in the spring.

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