Edwards Found Not Guilty On One Count; Jurors Deadlocked On Othe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Edwards Found Not Guilty On One Count; Jurors Deadlocked On The Others

From MSNBC.com - Capping a day of dramatic turnarounds, the jury in the campaign finance trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards found him not guilty on Thursday on one count and said it was deadlocked on the remaining five charges.

U.S. District Catherine Eagles then declared a mistrial on the remaining charges.

Earlier, the jury of eight men and four women told Eagles that it had reached a verdict on all six felony accounts against Edwards. But after the jury returned to the courtroom, the foreperson stated that jurors had reached a unanimous decision on only one count. Eagles then sent them back to the jury room to resume deliberations.

The count on which the jury reached a verdict involved contributions from Edwards' contributor Rachel "Bunny" Mellon.

The charges against Edwards, 58, arose from about $1 million in donations while he was in the midst of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination from two wealthy donors, Fred Baron and Mellon, a billionaire banking heiress. The money was used to support and hide Edwards' pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Prosecutors argued that the money amounted to illegal and unreported campaign contributions at a time when federal donations were capped at $2,300; the defense said the money was a "gift" intended to allow Edwards to hide the affair from his ailing wife, Elizabeth, and the public. Elizabeth Edwards, who had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer, separated from John Edwards in early 2010 and died later that year.

If found guilty of all six counts, Edwards could have faced up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.  Each individual count carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Earlier, from the Associated Press:

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The jury in the John Edwards campaign corruption trial has begun a ninth day of talks in North Carolina.

As the jury ended its eighth day of talks without a verdict Wednesday, the judge released four alternate jurors who garnered attention for their matching shirts. They have not participated in the deliberations, which resumed Thursday.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles did not give any indication of whether she believed the 12 jurors are any closer to deciding the fate of the two-time Democratic presidential candidate.

Edwards faces six felony charges in a case involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy political donors to help hide the Democrat's pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.

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