A Jury Overthinks


Often I write about juries in a case where some of the jurors had to be the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

This is a story about the entire 12 people who have to be the dumbest 12 people on the face of the earth, if you consider their decision in this case.

Skylar Nemetz, 19 in October, 2014, was in the U. S. Army.

The Army had taught him to be a firearms expert.

Let me repeat that, because I want to be perfectly clear.

Skylar Nemetz was a firearms expert, the U. S. Army had taught him.

He comes home to his Lakewood, Washington apartment after several days of training at another military base.

Here’s his version of what happened.

In the course of time his wife said her AR15 rifle was on the bed, and would he put it in the closet.

Yes, she had her own AR15 rifle that he had given her on her birthday.

They both liked to go out into a safe area and shoot guns, she with hers, and he with an assortment of other guns he had.

He picks up her AR15, points it at his wife, claims he didn’t know there was a bullet in the chamber, fires it, and kills her, the shot square in the back of her head as she set at the computer.

What is the first thing you learn as a firearms expert? Never point a gun at anybody.

Let me repeat that. You never point a gun at anybody.

Am I perfectly clear on that? You never point a gun at anybody.

Investigation over. Case closed. First degree murder.

The case comes to trial, and the jury goes to deliberation in early, 2016.

What, three minutes to make a decision, four minutes?  Maybe a juror needed a glass of water.

No, no, no. After much deliberation, the jury finds him guilty of first degree manslaughter on March 5, 2016.

Maybe I misunderstood the clerk when she read the verdict as ID TV depicted it.

A lawyer who tries civil cases was the foreperson.

What were these nitwits considering?  The court transcript would reveal all of that but let me give you a couple of examples.

The jury had to decide whether Nemetz knew there was a bullet in the chamber even though he had removed the magazine.

They really spent time on that?

What is the first thing you learn as a firearms expert, when you are taught to be one by the U. S. Army?  Never point a gun at anybody.

The jury also debated about his intent. He pointed her own AR15 at the back of her head, and pulled the trigger.  Is it not clear to everyone sitting at the deliberation table what his intent was?

I have it. They were sitting at a dumb table, and somehow by osmotic effect when they touched the dumb deliberation table, the dumbness in the table was absorbed by their brains.

The prosecutor gave as a motive that one of Nemetz’s army buddies who was supposed to buy them liquor, because neither one of them was old enough to buy it, didn’t buy it, but told Nemetz a friend of his wife bought it instead.

One version has this friend of his wife’s, with a couple of his friends, dropping the liquor off at Nemetz’s apartment.  There was nothing said about any of them lingering at the apartment.

This supposedly angered Nemetz.

The prosecution should not have had to even present a motive. The evidence was already there. Nemetz pointed the gun at the back of his wife’s head and pulled the trigger.

Oh, almost forgot. There was the contention by the defense that he pulled the trigger accidentally.

Again class, let’s go over this one more time. You do not point a gun at anybody. Skylar was a firearms expert. The U. S. Army taught Skylar Nemetz to be a firearms expert.

The U. S. Army does know a thing or two about shooting guns. They do their best to recognize the enemy if they are firing their guns.  They do not point their guns at the back of the head, square in the back of the head, of a 19-year old woman, and pull the trigger.

The judge gave Skylar Nemetz the maximum of 13 ½ years, by law that was all he could give him.  That wasn’t all the judge wanted to give Nemetz.  I have a feeling if the judge had the option he would have given Nemetz, now an ex-soldier, life without parole.

Nemetz’s wife’s name was Tarrah, but she preferred the name Danielle. Nineteen. Absent from her family for the rest of their lives.

Would the jurors come forward with comments to me that I can post with this story?  I want to know their thinking, or should I say overthinking. Do you the jurors sleep well at night? I doubt that the family of Danielle does.

Again, all of my readers, let’s repeat this one more time. You never point a gun at anybody.



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