Defendant who ‘intimidated’ jury foreman convicted anyway

Defendant who ‘intimidated’ jury foreman convicted anyway

The Queens man accused of calling out sick from his weapons possession trial so he could go intimidate the jury foreman at his home was found guilty on several counts Wednesday.

Derek Sargeant faces up to 15 years behind bars after the panel — reduced to 11 members once Queens Supreme Court Judge Gene Lopez dismissed the foreman — found him guilty on seven of the 15 counts against him.

The verdict comes despite Sargeant’s ham-fisted attempt to tip the scales of justice in his favor last week, as reported exclusively by The Post.

The 53-year-old defendant, who had been out on bail during the trial, claimed he was sick when he begged off of his Jan. 24 court date, and Lopez sent the deliberating jury home for the day.

But when the jury foreman — who hasn’t been publicly named — returned to his Kew Gardens home that day, he allegedly found Sargeant waiting for him on his stoop.

“We’re brothers, right?” Sargeant asked the foreman as he stuffed court papers purportedly showing his innocence into his hands, sources told The Post. “You are going to find me not guilty.”

The spooked juror ran inside and immediately called authorities, who the next day hauled Sargeant into court on a jury tampering charge and revoked his bail.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly how Sargeant tracked the juror to his home.

The foreman was dismissed from the jury, but deliberations were ordered to continue with an 11-person panel despite calls from Sargeant’s lawyer for a mistrial.

Jorge Santos again requested a mistrial before Wednesday’s sentencing, claiming that The Post’s coverage “makes [Sargeant] look dangerous,” but was denied.

The Queens DA’s Office has said that it will weigh pursuing the tampering case against Sargeant once the weapons trial was resolved.

Sargeant is due back in court for sentencing on Feb. 15.

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