Matthew Roloff of “Little People, Big World” Not Guilty

By Garth O'Brien | January 12, 2008 
Filed Under Celebrity DUI

Washington County OregonWashington County, Oregon. Matthew Roloff was arrested last June for DUI. Roloff took his case to a jury trial. Ah the wonderful jury trial. Jurors have a very simple set of rules to follow. Do what the judge tells you to do.

Roloff’s jury might have had learning disabilities or were deaf. At least one juror did some extra research on the Internet. Jurors are not allowed to consider evidence not brought forth during the trial. Extra “research” from outside sources is strictly not allowed.

The juror’s conduct triggered a mistrial, and Roloff avoids a DUI conviction. Somehow the judge was able to find Roloff guilty of refusing to provide a breath sample, and not keeping his vehicle within his lane of travel. Roloff had to pay fines for those violations.

Judge Letourneau had an opportunity to find the bad jurors in contempt of court, but Letourneau felt public humiliation was harsh enough. Seriously, making an example of them by letting the press report on this? Wow. I bet they have learned their lesson. Next time a lawyer violates a pretrial motion they will have to have serve time out? Good to know rules are enforced in Washington County courts.

DUI Blog Comments

6 Responses to “Matthew Roloff of “Little People, Big World” Not Guilty”

  1. Mike on March 3rd, 2008 9:28 pm

    Hey Matt I didn’t realize being a little person meant you were born without a spine. How about a little personal responsibility for your actions.

  2. mike - las vegas on March 4th, 2008 9:13 am

    sounds like justice in the end — its amazing how the show made a joke of the situation— Matt Roloff was a person I looked up to and my family watches the show every week — I thought it was about morales and being responsible — he got caught drinking and driving — he tried to make excuses because he is handicap — just because the Officer didnt make him do the walk and turn or the one leg stand tests — he still failed the HGN test — the whole situation would have ended – if he blew into the breath machine — I guess he didnt want to know what the alcohol level was — innocent people have nothing to worry about — think about that — How could he do the walk and turn or one leg stand without his crutches — he is handicap —- dont blame the officer — he did his job— nobody made Roloff drink and drive — be responsible and except your punishment — do it on TV – -maybe life can go on — set an example that your family can be proud of — what a disgrace you made — I hope Matt Roloff gets to read this — its a wake up call — Remember what happened the last time you were drunk —- you drove off the road and rolled your vehicle — dont make your family or others pay —

  3. Tool on March 18th, 2008 4:38 pm

    Your post was correct. Sorry about the earlier comment, and you can remove it.

  4. Garth O'Brien on March 18th, 2008 5:03 pm

    Content was removed at your request.

  5. debbi on April 1st, 2008 7:54 am

    Don’t you think throwing him in jail for a while may have set a better example.

  6. Garth O'Brien on April 1st, 2008 9:01 am

    Debbi,

    Jurors must comply with the jury instructions, and there is absolutely no wiggle room. Gathering information not presented at trial is one of the worst forms of jury misconduct.

    I never practiced in Oregon, and I am not familiar with Oregon statutes, case law or court rules. However, I am certain Matt Roloff was innocent until proven guilty when he entered the courtroom. He also had a constitutional right to a fair trial, and one was not afforded to him. No one should ever be incarcerated when those rights are trampled.

    In Washington a mistrial can result in a case dismissal or setting a date for a new trial. However, some mistrial scenarios must result in a dismissal because of double jeopardy. From the news articles I am not clear what theory the judge used in granting an acquittal.