Murder Trial Juror: 'Justice Was Done'
Parsippany's Janet Saulter-Hemmer said Kleber Cordova's sentencing brought her closure.
One juror had to see it finished. She had to see Kleber Cordova sentenced.
That was why Janet Saulter-Hemmer, one of eight women on the 12-person jury, came to the Morris County Courthouse Tuesday to see what her guilty verdict would bring. For Cordova, it brought a sentence of 45 years, for the murder of his wife Eliana Torres and five years for the endangerment of their daughter, who witnessed her father drown her mother in their Western Avenue apartment bathtub.
"Justice was done," she said. "I just can't understand what would make a good father not stop."
For Saulter-Hemmer, and for several other jurors she said, the turning point in their deliberations in April was when eight-year-old K.C. walked into the bathroom. "It was like God was sending him an opportunity to stop," she said. "It was at that point when he decided to go on. He didn't stop.
"That was the line in the sand," she said.
Saulter-Hemmer also noted a video of K.C., filmed by police later that day, starts with K.C. recalling how "I saw, I saw, I saw.
"Then, she switches to 'we,'" Saulter-Hemmer said. "It became obvious he had talked to her."
It was the first time Saulter-Hemmer had ever been on a jury. And, while she said the experience was draining, she said, "this is what our country is all about.
"I had to see it finished," Saulter-Hemmer said.