Jurors blast holdout panelist as ‘We Build the Wall’ case ends in mistrial

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Jurors blast holdout panelist as 'We Build the Wall' case ends in mistrial

A federal judge on Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case against a Colorado man charged with ripping off donors of a fundraising campaign that purportedly sought to collect money for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

Jurors who left Manhattan federal court told The Post they deadlocked in the criminal case against Timothy Shea largely because of one panelist who refused to fairly examine the evidence.

“It was like talking to a wall,” juror Lauren Reyes, 19, of the Bronx said about the stubborn panelist, named Roberto.

“It was incredibly frustrating,” she added. “We didn’t want to give up on this. It was straight forward.”

Reyes said another juror was also “on the fence” about convicting Shea.

The businessman was charged alongside former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon and other co-conspirators for allegedly pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors to a GoFundMe campaign dubbed “We Build the Wall.”

Judge Analisa Torres declared the mistrial after the panel sent a note around 2 p.m. stating they couldn’t come to a verdict. 

As prosecutors and Shea’s defense attorney presented evidence and argued their cases, one juror, Racquel Henry, said she saw Roberto fall asleep a number of times.

Timothy Shea
Shea exits Manhattan federal court after his court case was declared a mistrial on June 7, 2022.
AP/John Minchillo

During deliberations, Henry said, Roberto raised hypotheticals about if there was more evidence in the case that was not raised at trial that could have proven Shea’s innocence. 

“He was against the government,” the Bronx woman told The Post. 

“He was hung up on where the money was coming from,” she added, noting that the bull-headed juror thought “maybe Trump gave him the money to fund the wall.” 

Another juror, Mariah Sierra, said: “He was the speculation king.” 

As he left the courthouse, Roberto said he felt the case shouldn’t have been brought in New York as most of the money was raised outside of the state, but refused to elaborate on what happened during deliberations. 

He then walked into New York State Civil Court, saying he had to report there to serve another jury summons. 

“We always respect the jury’s verdict,” Shea’s attorney, John Meringolo, said after the mistrial was declared. 

In a statement, US Attorney Damian Williams said his office plans to retry the case “as soon as possible.” 

The mistrial, “in no way lessens our resolve or belief in the powerful and compelling evidence that we strongly believe proves his guilt,” Williams said. 

Bannon was pardoned by former President Donald Trump soon before he left office. Two other co-defendants, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, each pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the case.

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