Citing federal budget cuts, a federal judge has rejected prosecutors' request to sequester a jury in a murder and racketeering trial in Brooklyn.
Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. said he would keep the jurors' names secret but wouldn't take extra measures because the court had to "be mindful of today's economic climate." He acknowledged that jurors would have benefited from the protection.
His ruling came in the case of a Brooklyn man accused of leading a street gang that ran a drug operation for 12 years from four buildings they controlled in Crown Heights.
He is accused of carrying out shootings, knife attacks and other violence.
He also has been previously convicted for witness tampering, and a threat to kill a police officer in a court hallway.
In the encounter, the officer asked the defendant if he was going to kill him, and the man replied, "I'll have someone else do it for me," prosecutors wrote in the motion requesting jury sequestration, according to the Times.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York