Another day ends with no verdict in Menendez bribery trialNovember 15, 2017 10:50pm

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jurors completed a seventh day of deliberations in the bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend Wednesday without a verdict, as defense attorneys pushed for the judge to instruct them that a deadlock can be an acceptable outcome to the case.

Deliberations began on Nov. 6, but the jury restarted Monday after a juror was excused for a previously scheduled vacation and was replaced by an alternate.

Outside the courthouse, Menendez thanked jurors he said were "asserting my innocence" in the jury room.

"I appreciate the jurors standing up for me in terms of advocating for my innocence," the senator from New Jersey said. "I hope they come to a verdict across the board of innocence, and I look forward to tomorrow being that day."

The jury deliberated all day Tuesday and Wednesday without sending any notes to U.S. District Judge William Walls, a possible indication that they understand the legal principles of the case but are entrenched in their positions.

On Monday, they had sent Walls a note saying they were deadlocked, but he told them to keep going and to "take as much time as you need." Defense attorneys felt other parts of Walls' instruction implied that they needed to reach a verdict one way or another.

Walls challenged defense attorneys Tuesday to show him cases to support their argument. In a 1974 murder case cited in their brief filed Wednesday, a judge told jurors that although it was an important case, "they need not reach a verdict and could continue to disagree" though they should try to reach a verdict.

Walls could instruct the jury that they can reach a verdict on some counts but not others. He also could give them what is referred to as an Allen charge, named after the defendant in a more than century-old case. It is given to a deadlocked jury and urges jurors who are voting against the majority to reconsider their positions to avoid a mistrial.

On Tuesday, Walls said he has not "come close" to giving an Allen charge in his decades on the bench.

The trial is in its 11th week. Menendez and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen are charged with running a bribery scheme between 2006 and 2013 in which Menendez lobbied government officials on Melgen's behalf in exchange for luxury vacations and flights on Melgen's private plane.

The men each face about a dozen counts including bribery, fraud and conspiracy. Menendez also is charged with making false statements for failing to report Melgen's gifts on Senate disclosure forms.

Both men deny the allegations. Defense attorneys sought to show jurors that the two men are longtime pals who exchanged gifts out of friendship. They also contended Menendez's meetings with government officials were focused on broad policy issues.

A mistrial would aid Menendez by not subjecting him to pressure to step down in the event of a conviction. Conversely, the charges likely would be hanging over him as he seeks re-election next year, assuming the government seeks a retrial.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2017, file photo, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez answers a question from a reporter before entering the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse for his federal corruption trial, in Newark, N.J. Menendez's political fate in next year's crucial midterms after the mistrial in his federal bribery case may hinge on whether prosecutors retry him and whether attacks from Republicans based on the indictment convince voters to keep him from a third term. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Looking toward election after Menendez's 'Resurrection Day'
No verdict in trial of deputy accused of abusing girlsA jury has been unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a onetime "Deputy of the Year" in Maine who's charged with sexually abusing three girls
Abuse victims say new attention should spur New York reformsNew Yorkers who were molested as children are counting on the national attention on sexual crimes to persuade state leaders to allow victims to sue over decades-old abuse
Man convicted of triple homicide in Washington stateA southwestern Washington state jury has convicted a 37-year-old man of three counts of aggravated murder following the shooting deaths of three people in a Clark County home
A view of the Thaingkhali refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in Ukhiya, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed alarm over the plight of Rohingya Muslims in remarks before Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders from a Southeast Asian bloc that has refused to criticize her government over the crisis. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Mladic trial to end, where will next war crimes court start?
This May, 24, 2017 photo released by Gallatin County Sheriff's Office shows Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in Bozeman, Mont. Law enforcement officials in Montana have released more than 100 pages of documents, photos and audio from their investigation into Republican House candidate Greg Gianforte who assaulted Jacobs on the eve of his election to the U.S. House. In the attack's immediate aftermath, the Republican's campaign portrayed Jacobs as the instigator. That version of events was contradicted audio from Jacobs and by a Fox News reporter who witnessed the attack. Gianforte later pleaded guilty to assault. (Gallatin County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Montana congressman misled authorities on reporter's assault
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices