A juror in a sensational 1990 murder-for-hire case recently received a letter postmarked from a divorce lawyer he helped convict of murder and sent to prison five years ago.
Scott Binger was a juror in the 2008 murder trial for Miguel Martinez, the attorney who hired a hit man to kill New York millionaire George Kogan in 1990. Kogan's jilted wife, Barbara Kogan, paid Martinez about $40,000 to set up the murder in a ploy to collect her estranged husband's $4.3 million insurance policy. George Kogan was gunned down on the Upper East Side while buying groceries for his mistress.
Barbara Kogan is currently serving a 12-year sentence for her role in the killing, according to the New York Daily News. The hit man was never found.
Binger, an IT consultant who now lives in Westchester County, said he was "immediately fearful for my family's safety" when he received the letter.
Martinez’s letter informs Binger he got his address through a personal investigator who is a friend, and asks him to sign an affidavit to the verdict be reversed or Martinez receive a new trial. Binger said he’s not willing to do that.
Binger said he has contacted the Manhattan district attorney's office and the courts because he is concerned about his and his family's safety. He also said he's now reluctant to sit on a jury again.
“I don't want to have to look over my shoulders every day,” Binger said.
Juror information is not readily available on request from a court clerk’s office, according to David Bookstaver of the New York state courts administration office. But that doesn't stop someone from buying a transcript from jury selection procedures, which contain names and addresses.
“This situation is an anomaly”, Bookstaver said.