OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - One of the jurors from the Ghost Ship trial said on Friday that initially, one of the members on the panel insisted that Max Harris was guilty.
Millard Billings, a retired high-school teacher from Castro Valley, was an alternate tapped by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Tina Thompson last minute to sit on the panel after the judge removed three jurors for misconduct.
Billings tells KTVU the juror, a woman, was given time over the Labor Day weekend to think over her decision.
"When we came back, we asked her again in a very nice way, and she said she had thought a lot about it," Billings said. "We listened to her, all the details of her thinking, and she agreed to change her vote.
That led to a complete acquittal for Harris who is now a free man.
Billings said he was distressed that the jury couldn't agree on Derick Almena's fate saying two women believed he was not guilty.
"I respected one of their opinions, but one person, I felt, would not listen and that her mind was made up. It was very frustrating, but again, that's the process we use."