Mistrial Declared In John Edwards Corruption Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Thursday, May 31, 2012

A mistrial has been declared in the campaign fraud trial against ex-presidential candidate John Edwards.

Jurors on Thursday acquitted John Edwards of one of six counts involving him taking money from wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. They told the judge they are deadlocked on the other five charges against him.

She declared a mistrial.

The ninth day of deliberations Thursday took a confusing turn after the judge mistakenly believed the jurors had reached a verdict on all six counts. She sent them back to deliberate some more.

In about an hour they came back and said they couldn't reach a decision on the other charges. Edwards was accused of using money
from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he ran for president in 2008.

Update: Thursday, May 31, 2012

The ninth day of deliberations in John Edwards' campaign fraud trial took a bizarre turn Thursday when the judge mistakenly believed the jurors had reached a verdict on all six counts.

Instead, the jury told the judge they had a unanimous decision on only one charge involving money from wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon.

Edwards is accused of masterminding a plan to use money from Mellon and another wealthy donor to hide his pregnant mistress as he ran for president in 2008.

Edwards appeared happy and smiled at his family. His attorneys argued for a mistrial on the other counts and they wanted the verdict announced.

The verdict was not read, and U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles told the jurors to keep deliberating. She apologized for calling them into the courtroom and then sending them back for more discussions.

"I was obviously under the impression you had reached a verdict on all six counts," Eagles said.

Update: Thursday, May 31, 2012

The jury in the John Edwards campaign corruption trial has reached a verdict on one of six counts, but is apparently deadlocked on the others.

The judge told the jury Thursday that she understood that the panel had reached a verdict on all counts, and the jury foreman said no.

The jury said it had reached a verdict on one count of taking illegal campaign contributions. The money involves payments from wealthy donor Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. The verdict was not announced.

Prosecutors argued that the jury should keep deliberating and the defense asked for the verdict to be read. They also want a mistrial on the other counts.

The judge is taking a five-minute break to weigh her options.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jurors have reached a verdict in John Edwards' campaign corruption trial.

The verdict will be read Thursday. The jurors have been deliberating for about nine days.

Edwards is accused of masterminding a plan to use money from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White
House in 2008. Defense attorneys say Edwards did not knowingly break campaign finance laws. They also say the payments to hide his
mistress Rielle Hunter were gifts, not campaign contributions.

Edwards is charged with six criminal counts. They include conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, accepting contributions that exceeded limits and causing his campaign to file a false financial disclosure report.

He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all charges.


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