Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Jurors Deadlocked In Trial Of NJ Senator Menendez

Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg via Getty Images
Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 19:09

"As of 2 p.m., on behalf of all jurors, we can not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges". Robert Menendez told the judge late Monday that they were deadlocked and could not reach a verdict.

The jury in the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen.

"Go home, get a breath of fresh air or rain, or whatever it may be doing out there", U.S. District Judge William H. Walls said.

Three hours later, the jurors sent a note saying they couldn't "reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges".

That prompted Walls to interview the affected jurors one by one in his chambers. Defense attorneys pressed the judge to question jurors, who have been told repeatedly not to read reports about the case, on whether any had heard the excused juror's comments.

"You are now a new jury", Walls said. The rest of the jury deliberated for approximately 16 hours last week.

Arroyo-Maultsby was dismissed so she could go on a pre-arranged vacation.

"As I said two and a half years ago when I first faced these charges, I was innocent", he said. "I would hope that at the end of the day after they finish tomorrow, that those who continue to believe in my innocence will stand strong".

In comments widely reported last week, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, 61, of Hillside said the government had not made its case against Menendez, and claimed and three others on the panel agreed with her.

Walls dismissed jurors early but ordered them to return to court on Tuesday and continue deliberations despite the deadlock.

"It is your duty as jurors to consult with one another", he said.

Another of Arroyo-Maultsby's comments could also be significant, said former federal prosecutor Michael Weinstein, now the head of white collar defense and investigations for the Cole Schotz law firm. "It seems particularly hard on these facts so far".

The defense immediately requested a mistrial.

Menendez is accused of accepting bribes from co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, in exchange for personal favors as part of a corruption scheme, including helping Melgen with a Medicare billing dispute.

Menendez, a Democrat and New Jersey's senior senator, is charged with advocating for Melgen's business interests with top USA government officials in exchange for vacations in the Dominican Republic, private jet flights, hotel stays, a auto service and about $750,000 in political contributions. Bob McDonnell. That ruling played a significant role in how the jury was instructed in the Menendez trial.

In total, Menendez faces six counts of bribery, three counts of honest services fraud, one count of conspiracy, one count of interstate travel to carry out bribery and one count of making false statements on his congressional financial disclosures to hide the crimes.