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LA Socialite Accused of Trying to Tamper With Jury

Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Los Angeles socialite who killed two young brothers in a drunken hit-and-run is allegedly asking her family to tamper with key players in the case in a quest to get a new trial, prosecutors allege.

Rebecca Grossman, 60, was found guilty last month of second-degree murder and other charges for the September 2020 car crash that killed 8-year-old Jacob Iskander and his 11-year-old brother, Mark. Since being jailed, Grossman has been allegedly asking her plastic surgeon husband and 19-year-old daughter to track down witnesses and her ex-lover and to release sealed evidence, prosecutors say in a Monday motion.

“If we can get witnesses to come forward and say they were told to say things, this can get us a new trial,” Grossman allegedly said in a Feb. 24 jailhouse conversation with her daughter, according to the prosecution’s motion first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“We have to get a real story out there about everything behind us and everything that wasn’t done and all the things that were hidden from the jury and how the media influenced the entire trial and how they were releasing all this stuff to the media, just to make me look like a monster and that we know that the jurors were influenced by it,” Grossman said, according to the motion.

The motion, which cites several calls between Grossman and her family, asks Judge Joseph Brandolino to ban Grossman’s access to the jailhouse phones except for attorney calls. It alleges that in the first two days after she arrived at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Grossman used her phone privilege to “engage in wholly improper conduct or potentially illegal conduct.”

“These calls include admissions to violating the court protective order regarding the disclosure of evidence on the internet and to the press,” prosecutors said. “These recorded phone calls also document numerous potential criminal conspiracies, such as requests to disclose more protected discovery, discussion of various attempts to interfere with witnesses and their testimony, and attempts to influence his honor in regards to sentencing.”

Prosecutors also allege that since Grossman’s conviction, at least three jurors have been contacted by a private investigator even though the judge sealed their personal information. The motion says that the person identified himself as a “private investigator for the family” but did not say whether he was working for the Grossmans or the Iskanders.

“The only ways in which the defense could have obtained this personal juror identification information was either by photographing the jury list that was presented to counsel during jury selection or copying the names down off this same list,” the motion says. “The defense is actively attempting to engage in jury tampering… and illegally in possession of jury personal identifying information.”

Grossman will be sentenced on April 10 and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Her lawyer and her husband, Dr. Peter Grossman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Iskanders also did not respond.

At trial, prosecutors detailed how Grossman, under the influence of alcohol and Valium, struck the two brothers at 73 mph as they crossed the street with their mother and another sibling. Prosecutors said Grossman was speed-racing her then-lover, ex-MLB player Scott Erickson, after a date. Her defense attorney argued Erickson, who allegedly hid in the bushes while police interrogated Grossman, caused the crash. The children’s mother testified she did not see Erickson’s car hit her children.

The motion filed Monday says that almost immediately after Grossman was found guilty, she began calling her daughter and husband. In one call, Grossman asked her daughter to release a sheriff’s deputy's body-camera video after the crash. The LA Times reported that the video was previously on a website associated with Grossman’s defense but was later removed after the judge ordered all evidence not shown at trial be sealed.

“Everything you want us to put out, honey, let us know. We’re going to put it all out,” her husband told her, the motion says. “I want you to put everything out,” his wife said.

Prosecutors allege Grossman asked her husband to reach out to a Fox 11 News reporter. In another call, she asked her husband to reach out to Erickson to ask him to confess on video.

An attorney for Scott Erickson, Mark Werksman, told The Daily Beast that his client “has consistently and truthfully maintained that he had nothing to do with this tragic accident, and nothing Rebecca Grossman says or does will change that.”

In another conversation, she allegedly asked Dr. Grossman if someone named “Tom” could call the judge to “ask him to please let us have a new trial.” The motion says that in another call, Grossman asked her daughter to find and talk to witnesses the defense never called to the stand.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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