April 26th, 2010
04:03 PM ET

Did fugitive defendant try to bribe juror?






Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Colorado authorities are looking for a woman who allegedly tried to bribe a juror $5,000 to vote 'Not Guilty' at her criminal trial. The fugitive, Darine Chely, 51, is charged with bribery and jury tampering.

“It’s a pretty rare occurrence,” said Catherine Olguin, spokeswoman for the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office. “There are judges who have been here for a couple of decades and have no memory of this occurring in Boulder.”

According to the affidavit supporting the arrest warrant for Chely, the alleged bribery happened last week while the defendant was standing trial on charges of weapons possession and reckless endangerment.

Chely allegedly kept staring at one male juror and said “goodbye” to him on April 20, the affidavit said. The next day, the juror returned from a court recess and found a hand written note on his seat, according to the affidavit. The juror then notified the judge about the note. He was dismissed from the jury.

The affidavit alleged the note was approximately 4” x 6” in size, and appeared to be torn out of a notebook. Published reports said the message on the note read “Please don't find me guilty. I will pay $5,000. I am very frightened. Please don't give this to anyone.”

Detectives and court officers said they were able to determine the note was written by Chely, who was found guilty last Friday of the charges against her. Chely, who was free on $75,000 bail at the time, did not appear in court for the verdict.

A warrant has been issued for her arrest. Darine Chely is also known as Darine Bateman and Darine Rosenfeld. She is described as being 5’7”, 135 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. The affidavit alleged she is a “multi-state offender” with a lengthy criminal history, including arrests for fraud, assault, larceny, and perjury.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Darine Chely contact the Boulder Count Sheriff’s Department at (303) 441-3600

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
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