Welcome to Jury Duty Season Six. This season of Jury Duty explores The Trial of Michael Barisone, who was charged with the attempted murders of Lauren Kanarek and Robert Goodwin. Kanarek was struck in the chest by two bullets from Barisone’s weapon, and as it was undisputed that Barisone fired those shots, his legal team argued that he was not guilty because he was legally insane AND in the alternative because he fired those shots in self defense.

The story of this trial starts on a horse farm in Long Valley, New Jersey on August 7, 2019. When Michael Barisone, a heralded Olympic Athlete and Equestrian trainer, went into his office, retrieved a gun from the safe there, loaded it and drove down to the house where his trainee and tenant Lauren Kanarek and her boyfriend Robert Goodwin were staying. Barisone fired shots at Kanarek.

Kanarek, struck twice in the chest, called 911

As Kanarek was announcing to the 911 operator that she had been shot in the heart, her boyfriend Robert Goodwin subdued Barisone until police arrived. Kanarek suffered substantial blood loss, was placed in a medically-induced coma, underwent emergency surgery and ultimately recovered from her injuries.

Jury Duty: The Trial of Michael Barisone covers this trial, held in State Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey, from gavel to gavel. Christopher Schellhorn, a supervising assistant prosecutor for Morris County, represents the state. Edward Bilinkas and Christopher Deininger defend Michael Barisone. Judge Stephen Taylor presides.

We kick off this season of Jury Duty: The Trial of Michael Barisone with Judge Taylor gaveling the trial into session. 

It is the morning of March 28, 2022. After a full week of jury selection, 16 individuals – 13 men and 3 women – are empaneled by the State Superior Court of Morristown to hear the case of the State of New Jersey vs. Michael Barisone. Ultimately, 12 of these jurors (selected after all testimony and arguments have been completed) will deliberate to render a verdict on the charges against Barisone, who faces two counts of attempted murder and two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

The trial begins with Judge Stephen Taylor giving the jury instructions. In this first episode of Season 6 of Jury Duty, we present Taylor’s instructions nearly in their entirety.

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