“It wasn’t about sending a message,” Valenzuela said.
Asuquo said they never thought about that aspect of the verdict.
“We all have feelings about politicians. Make no mistake. Sharpe James did a lot for the city,” he said. “But we had a job to do. We had to go by the law.”
Behring, 23, also was unequivocal when asked whether a message was being sent.
“Absolutely not,” she said in a firm voice. “We didn’t go in there focusing on anything other than the case.”
The recent Montclair State University graduate said the jurors would go around the table and everyone would say how they felt about a particular issue at hand.
“There was no smoking gun,” she said. “The 12 of us put our heads together and it was a decision that 12 people made together.”