Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) arrives on the federal courthouse in Newark on Oct. 26. The jury deliberating bribery fees in opposition to him mentioned in a observe it was deadlocked on Nov. 13. (Julio Cortez/AP)
NEWARK — The jury weighing bribery fees in opposition to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) mentioned in a observe Monday that its members are deadlocked on whether or not to convict him — however the trial choose advised it to take the remainder of the day without work and check out once more.
“As of 2 p.m., on behalf of all the jurors, we cannot reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges,” the jury wrote within the observe to U.S. District Judge William Walls. “Is there any additional guidance? And what do we do now?”
The choose determined to ship the jury dwelling an hour early so it might strive once more beginning Tuesday morning.
Outside the courthouse, Menendez mentioned, “Clearly there are jurors who believe in my innocence. . . . I believe no juror should be coerced.”
The observe from the jury got here on the primary day of deliberations after a feminine juror was excused from the panel for a long-planned trip and changed with an alternate. After collaborating in deliberations for greater than two days, that former juror predicted the panel would finish in a hung jury.
Menendez is accused of participating in a corrupt cut price with Florida eye physician Salomon Melgen. Prosecutors say the senator took presents comparable to a luxurious lodge keep, non-public flights and a whole lot of 1000’s of in marketing campaign donations from Melgen, and in return, Menendez acted because the physician’s “personal senator,” advocating on his behalf on varied authorities issues.
Menendez and Melgen’s attorneys have argued there was no corrupt settlement, simply acts of friendship between two males who’ve identified one another for greater than a decade and appreciated to spend trip time collectively.
There is extra at stake within the trial than simply the stability of energy between Republicans and Democrats within the narrowly divided U.S. Senate. Some attorneys suppose a defeat for the Justice Department within the Menendez case might make prosecutors extra reluctant to pursue corruption fees in opposition to elected officers.
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After the observe was despatched to the choose, prosecutor Peter Koski mentioned the jury had been deliberating solely a few hours with its new juror and requested that Walls inform them to proceed speaking.
Menendez lawyer Abbe Lowell mentioned 11 of the 12 jurors have been deliberating for a number of days and requested that Walls declare a mistrial.
If the jury comes again Tuesday and once more insists it’s deadlocked, the choose would in all probability find yourself studying it an instruction often called an Allen cost — a closing plea to jurors to do every part inside motive to succeed in a unanimous verdict.
After being launched, the excused juror mentioned Nov. 9 she felt strongly that Menendez was not responsible.
“What I saw, the government didn’t give me enough. So I think the defense showed me enough to say he’s not guilty on every count,” Juror No. eight, Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, mentioned as she left the courthouse.
She mentioned different jurors wish to vote not responsible on some counts, “but I’m the only one that’s held out that he’s not guilty on every single charge.”
The panel heard 9 weeks of testimony earlier than starting its deliberations final week.
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