Judge orders deadlocked Menendez jury to try again
by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/13/17, 05:21 pm
The jurors deliberating the bribery case against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., declared Monday they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on any of the 18 counts against him. U.S. District Judge William Walls told them to “have a good meal and good sleep” and try again Tuesday. Menendez and a wealthy friend who donated to his political campaigns are charged in an alleged bribery scheme in which the longtime senator traded his influence for luxury vacations and other benefits. Menendez and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen deny the claims, insisting any gifts stemmed from friendship, not politics. Menendez failed to report Melgen’s gifts on his financial disclosure forms. Earlier Monday, a juror dismissed for a previously scheduled vacation threw the trial into tumult when she told reporters she predicted a hung jury even though she and several others favored acquittal. Defense attorneys demanded to know whether any of the other jurors had read or heard her comments, even though the judge had ordered them not to read or watch media accounts of the case. Several had, but Walls determined it would not influence their deliberations. The trial is in its 11th week.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.