The remaining three counts under penal law section 240 (30) sub-paragraph three includes provisions for physical harm, attempted physical harm or threats of physical harm "because of a belief or perception regarding [a] person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct."
Each charge carries a possible penalty of a fine of up to $1,000 with a $165 state surcharge, one year in jail and three years' probation. It is at the judge's discretion as to whether those penalties are levied as a package or on each charge.
Cerio said the jury returned with a verdict of guilty on all five charges, but when Button polled the jurors, he counted seven.
"[Assistant District Attorney] David [Russell] said, 'Wait a minute, Your Honor; there are only six jurors,'" Cerio said. "Now we have to determine if the alternate participated in deliberations."
Cerio said his office now will conduct an investigation to determine what transpired in the deliberation room and how the error occurred.
Morris was scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Jan. 25. The matter is unsettled until after motions are heard Jan. 16 and the District Attorney's Office completes its investigation.
If it is determined the alternate juror participated in the deliberations, a mistrial may be declared, and the case will have to be reheard.