Ten years ago today Thomas Junta was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Costin. Both dads fought at their kids’ practice hockey game.
Perhaps it was fitting that the trial of Thomas Junta ended as murkily as it began. As he stood stoically in a Cambridge, Mass., courtroom last Friday evening, accused of killing fellow hockey dad Michael Costin, the judge asked the jury forewoman for a verdict on the first charge of voluntary manslaughter: guilty or not guilty. The forewoman stared at her verdict slip, scrunched her eyes quizzically and shot a pleading glance at the juror on her left. The silence seemed eternal. “Guilty,” she replied at last. “Guilty of what?” the judge asked. “No. 3,” she replied, referring to the third item on the verdict slip: the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. The confusion in the courtroom was so great that no one seemed to realize that the trial—replete throughout with conflicting versions of the truth—had finally come to a close.
Newsweek January 21, 2002