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Dominic CarterNov 10, 2017, 7:04 pmNov 13, 2017, 1:54 pm

Excused Menendez juror shares her emotional experience

Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby reveals why she did not cancel her vacation

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NEWARK — The juror excused by the judge in federal corruption trial of Sen. Robert Menendez due to a scheduled vacation spoke with FiOS1 News immediately after leaving court Thursday. On Friday, she had more to say.

Juror number 8 is returning to the life she had before the trial. Getting her hair done at Shear Essence Hair Salon in Clifton for that vacation she was relieved from the jury for, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby is sharing her emotional experience as a juror.

She does feel others on the panel wanted her gone.

“I said on all charges, he’s not guilty. And then I started going around all the charges and letting them know how I felt, and they said ‘Oh, so you’re not gonna change your mind?’ And I said, ‘No, I’m not gonna change my mind,'” Arroyo-Maultsby said.

“To me, they were holding on because they knew that Thursday was my last day. And that maybe once Evelyn leaves, maybe they can change everybody else’s mind. See, that's how I felt,” Arroyo-Maultsby added.

A day later she is not backing down predicting a hung jury. But now the panel, including support from Arroyo-Maultsby, had all voted to convict Menendez on count number 18. This is the count that alleges he made false statements regarding his senate financial disclosure form. But the next morning, Arroyo-Maultsby backed out.

“Then when I got home and I started thinking about it, and then I started praying on it. I felt God talking to me, saying ‘Evelyn, if you have doubts, remember the word reasonable doubt,’” Arroyo-Maultsby said.

And then there is the question with the high stakes: Why didn't she cancel her vacation?

“…I thought about it that if it would’ve been just my husband and I going on vacation, I could’ve changed the date. But since it’s my husband’s birthday gift, my mother’s 80th birthday gift and a wedding, I couldn’t change it. I just couldn’t change it. But you don't know how much I wanted to stay to put my verdict in,” Arroyo-Maultsby said.

Deliberations begin again on Monday with a new juror.

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