Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Jurors 'Can't Reach' Unanimous Verdict in Sen. Menendez Trial

Jurors 'Can't Reach' Unanimous Verdict in Sen. Menendez Trial

"As of 2 p.m., on behalf of all jurors, we can not reach a unanimous decision on any of the charges".

The jury weighing bribery charges against Sen. He dismissed the jurors an hour early and told them to come back Tuesday morning and to continue deliberating.

"Go home and have a good meal and have a good sleep", Walls told the jury.

One female juror was excused last week because of a prearranged vacation.

The juror told reporters she and others were in favor of acquittal but she anticipated a hung jury.

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Menendez, said 11 of the 12 jurors have been deliberating for several days and asked that Walls declare a mistrial.

Menendez seemed buoyed by the jurors' note. "And clearly there are jurors who believe in my innocence".

Menendez is accused of engaging in a corrupt bargain with Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. The prosecutors at that time would choose whether to retry the case. Prosecutors say the senator took gifts such as a luxury hotel stay, private flights and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Melgen and in return Menendez acted as the doctor's "personal senator", advocating on his behalf on various government matters.

A mistrial also would aid Menendez by not subjecting him to pressure to step down in the event of a conviction. Last week a juror named Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby was dismissed because she had a previously scheduled vacation to the Bahamas coming up.

Although jurors are supposed to tune out of media coverage related to the Menendez trial, some jurors told Walls on Monday that they had heard Arroyo-Maultsby's remarks.

The men each face about a dozen counts including bribery, fraud and conspiracy.

Both men deny the allegations.

Defense attorneys argued Monday that the excused juror's comments could be a breach of protocol.

Arroyo-Maultsby's comments appeared to indicate at least some, and possibly a majority, of the jurors may believe the defense's theory. That ruling, which overturned the conviction of former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. That ruling played a significant role in how the jury was instructed in the Menendez trial.

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