Jury ‘Won’t Look at Amber Heard,’ Says Attorney in the Gallery

“LawTube” is a fun place. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a bunch of lawyers with YouTube channels who follow and comment on televised trials. Many of them have seen their channels take off with the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation trial, which has the nation riveted. One of the most popular channels is Rekieta Law run by Nick Rekieta. He has launched several other attorneys to large platforms including Law and Lumber’s Rob Moreton, who debunked Amber Heard’s testimony that Depp broke their wooden bed with his boot. Moreton, a lawyer with a serious woodworking habit, described in detail why that is impossible.

Moreton practices law in Virginia, where the 50 million dollar defamation trial is happening. He decided to stand in line and won a place inside the courtroom. His comments on the jury are what everyone has been waiting for. Many of the viewers have commented that they want to see the reaction the jury is having, but the cameras keep them off-screen. Moreton got an up-close look and reported his findings to Rekieta Law.

“Gallery seems to be mostly pro-Johnny,” said Moreton. He reported that there are three males between the ages of twenty and thirty, two males in their thirties, a black woman in her forties, an Asian woman in her thirties, a Polynesian man in his forties, a caucasian female in her fifties, and a caucasian man in his sixties. Moreton reported that the Polynesian man seems over it. “He’s completely checked out and does not believe anything Amber is saying,” he said. “[He] just puts his hand over his face every time she starts talking.”

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“The jury is really not showing a lot of reaction, they’re not looking at her,” Moreton continued. “They’ll give her glances here and there.” The attorney went on to describe the lengths some jurors will go to avoid eye contact with someone they don’t believe. “One of the jurors, I caught him faking writing notes. He would hold his pen there and just wiggle the pen back and forth and not write anything,” said Moreton.

“They’re not buying the emotion. They’re really not,” Moreton continued, referring to Heard’s second breakdown on the stand. “Two were calling BS, one had no eye contact, one put his head down, another was basically falling asleep. No one made eye contact except one thirties male.”

“[Heard is] a lot more aggressive today,” said Moreton. “The jury is not responding to it.” Moreton reported that several of them are leaning back in their chairs, which is a sign to the attorney that they aren’t buying it. “At one point during one of these emotional pieces of testimony the jury had their chairs pointed at Elaine [Bredehoft] and they were craning their neck over at the witness. That is not what you want when you are doing direct examination,” Moreton explained, pointing out that every lawyer wants a jury paying attention to and focused on the witness, not the lawyers.

Moreton also reported that Judge Penney Azcarate is visibly frustrated with Heard attorney Bredehoft for continually ignoring her rulings on objections and asking the same questions in different ways that are still against the rules. Moreton opined that he wished the cameras focused on the judge more because her facial expressions show a lot.

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Moreton also pointed out that Heard is trying to win over the jury in obvious ways.

“Amber Heard directs her testimony to the jurors she thinks are on her side. When the two ladies in the upper right are believing her story you will see her look up and directly at them. When they do not believe her story they look down and then she finds the young man in the middle in the bottom.”

“I can’t believe that after all this time she can’t squeeze out a single tear,” said Rekieta, referring to the shocking lack of moisture on Heard’s face even after lots of hysterical sobbing noises, heavy breathing, and contorting her face into what could be described as crying adjacent.

“She has set herself up for the most ruthless cross-examination you could imagine,” said Moreton, discussing the facts and evidence which are all solidly on Depp’s side so far.

“She is not scoring points with the jury on this stuff,” said Moreton “She’s trying to drum up emotions but none of the jury are reciprocating. You’re not getting nods, you’re not getting movement, you’re not getting anything. It’s stone-faced.”

“That’s not a great outcome,” said Rekieta. “Do you think your bias might be playing into this at all?”

Moreton says he and the other attorneys with him are trying hard to be objective and question each other’s prejudices but they all agree that their perception is that a majority of the jury does not like Heard. Lawyers generally spend a lot of time analyzing jurors, and they see repeated patterns in body language that allow them to read a jury fairly well.

“I will tell you where the jury perked up,” said Moreton. “The one time the jury had all positioned their chairs facing Amber was the testimony for that May 21st, 2016 incident. [It’s] the one where Io Tillet and Rocky [Pennington] were involved [and]  it was like they were trying to figure out what happened. All of them were intent on that testimony.”

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The May 21 incident ended with police responding to Depp’s penthouse twice, and all four responding officers testified that Heard was not injured and there were no signs of a fight. None of the officers identified Heard as a victim of domestic abuse.

At this point in the case, the defense’s strategy appears to be to tell the jury that everyone on Depp’s staff, his friends, the butler who worked for Disney, Heard’s own assistant, two medical professionals, and four LAPD officers are lying about everything and Heard is the only one telling the truth. Heard’s cross-examination continues tomorrow and promises to be just as entertaining and equally bizarre.

You can follow my coverage of the trial on YouTube where I’m live streaming it every day with guests, commentary, mega-pints, and sometimes costumery.

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