State v. CollinsAnnotate this Case
Thunder Collins was convicted of first degree murder, attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, and use of a weapon to commit a felony. At the conclusion of the trial and after Collins' case was submitted to the jury, the jury was permitted to separate for the weekend and return to deliberate the next Monday, at which point it rendered its verdicts. On appeal, Collins contended that the district court erred in overruling his motion for a new trial on the basis that the court allowed the jury to separate during deliberations without Collins' express agreement or consent. The Supreme Court concluded that the rule stated in State v. Robbins, which holds that express agreement or consent is required by a defendant in order to waive his rights to have a jury kept together until they reach a verdict or are discharged by the court, was inconsistent with judicial efficiency and sound policy and, therefore, overruled Robbins to the extent it requires defendant consent to jury separation. Because the overruling of Robbins was prospective only, the court applied the Robbins rule and held that Collins was entitled to a presumption that he was prejudiced by the jury's separation. Remanded.