Convicted killer Anthony Sowell files for retrial, alleges jury misconduct

CLEVELAND - Convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell has already filed a motion for a new trial.

Sowell, 51, was sentenced to death last week following a lengthy trial convicting him in the deaths of 11 women. Their remains were found in and around his Imperial Avenue house on Cleveland's east side in the fall of 2009.

The motion, signed by defense attorneys John Parker and Rufus Sims, was filed on Friday. According to court documents, the motion points to jury misconduct and irregularity in the proceedings as reasons for a retrial. [Click here to read the motion ]

Following the death penalty verdict last week, all 12 jurors met with the media to talk about the trial for the first time. The jury forewoman said she saw Sowell wink at hear during the trial, which attorneys said could have influence the juror. The motion includes stories written by Plain Dealer reporter Leila Atassi and's Jen Steer.

"He played to the camera. He played to us," the jury forewoman said. "He even winked at me once… Why are you winking Are you trying to make an ally?" The juror called Sowell's eye-contact with the jury "unwarranted," NewsChannel5 reported on Aug. 10 .

"It is clear from the news articles that at least the jury foreman was offender by the defendant's eye contact and was prejudiced against the defendant as a result," the motion states. "There have also been news stories that the jury forewoman developed a bias against the defendant during the jury view."

Sowell was convicted on 82 of 83 counts, including multiple accounts of aggravated murder, which made him eligible for the death penalty. This was the first case since 2007 that a Cuyahoga County jury recommended the death penalty.

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