- Judge forces jury back for further deliberations after verdict blunter
- Jury believed to be deadlocked on five other counts
- Defense says verdict for one count should be announced
- Want a mistrial on the five other counts
Confusion descended on the North Carolina courthouse today when the jury in John Edwards’ trial announced they had reached their verdict after nine days of deliberations – only to tell the judge they had found a verdict for only ONE of the six counts.
The corruption trial of the former Democratic presidential candidate and Senator from North Carolina has been controversial since it started on May 17.
Shortly before 3pm, members of the media came rushing out of the court house and it was believed a decision had been reached in the charges that Edwards, 58, used campaign funds to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
It would have brought an end to a scandalous five-year fall from grace for the man who was once hotly tipped as becoming the next President of the United States of America.
Edwards faces six charges, all stemming to the use of nearly $1million in donations from wealthy benefactors during and after the 2008 election.
They have reached a unanimous verdict on charge three only, which was the charge that Edwards accepted and received illegal campaign contributions from Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon.
The judge told the jury today that she understood the panel had reached a verdict on all counts, and the jury foreman said no – just for one count.
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 prosecution takes issue with the fact that rather than disclosing the money through standard, and required, campaign funding documents, the money was funnelled to aides of Edwards and it was then used to hide his pregnant mistress.
The judge then sent the jury back to deliberations, likely meaning that the jury said they have only reached the verdict on only that one charge.