By MICHAEL BIESECKER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
GREENSBORO, N.C. — John Edwards was acquitted on one charge of campaign finance fraud and a mistrial was declared on five other counts Thursday when jurors said they couldn't decide if he illegally used money to hide his pregnant mistress while he ran for president.
The monthlong trial exposed a sordid sex scandal that dashed Edwards' White House aspirations in 2008, and the jury's decision came on a confusing day.
The judge initially called jurors in to read a verdict on all six counts, before learning that they had only agreed to one. About an hour later, the jury sent the note to the judge saying it had exhausted its discussions.
Below, a live blog of the latest developments to unfold:
|@ samsteinhp : Edwards: "i don't think god is through with me"|
|@ mpoindc : Wow, Edwards: "And finally, my precious Quinn, who I love more than any of you could ever imagine...I am so grateful for Quinn..."|
|@ TheFix : "There is no one else responsible for my sins." -- John Edwards.|
|@ HuffPostPol : Edwards: Jurors took their job "very, very seriously"|
|@ DMarkPOLITICO : Dem consultant Garry South: "No amount of attempted rehabilitation will save the philandering Edwards' reputation." http://t.co/jdJiyksz|
|@ jaketapper : Our reporter Jim Hill says Edwards' mother said “We prayed for this and God answered our prayers."|
|@ AntDeRosa : RT @ProducerMatthew: CNN homepage says John Edwards found "guilty" on one count... http://t.co/2J8grOzE|
All of the attention on the John Edwards verdict presents some political opportunity for the clever-minded. As Twitter explodes with reaction to the not-guilty-on-one-count verdict, the AFL-CIO's super PAC has jumped into action, buying the following ad that's featured on "John Edwards" searches:
|@ WorkersVoice : Searching for John Edwards?!?! Are you serious? Wouldn't your time be better spent making calls to recall Walker? http://t.co/Bxy9z56H|
-- Sam Stein
|@ BreakingNews : Judge has ruled a mistrial on the 5 remaining charges in John Edwards trial - @NBCNews http://t.co/AE0QlTsN|
|@ jaketapper : EDWARDS TRIAL: NOT GUILTY on county 3, HUNG JURY on all other counts -- ABC News NC team|
|@ ProducerMatthew : RT @1360WCHL: BREAKING: Jury heading back to courtroom. 'Decision has been made.' #edwardstrial|
|@ ethanklapper : GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Edwards, attorneys back in courtroom after judge tells jurors to keep deliberating; reason unclear.|
The AP reports:
The ninth day of deliberations in John Edwards' campaign fraud trial took a bizarre turn Thursday when the judge mistakenly believed the jurors had reached a verdict on all six counts.
Instead, the jury told the judge they had a unanimous decision on only one charge, and the panel was sent back to the jury room for more talks.
The jury reached a verdict on one count of illegal campaign contributions involving Mellon, but their decision was not announced.
Edwards appeared happy and smiled at his family. His attorneys argued for a mistrial on the other counts and they asked for the verdict to be announced.
It was not read, and U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles told the jurors to keep deliberating. She apologized for calling them into the courtroom and then sending them back for more discussions.
"I was obviously under the impression you had reached a verdict on all six counts," Eagles said.
The judge read the jury the Allen Charge, encouraging them to reconsider their positions and deliberate further. But she said it's possible they may not be able to come to a unanimous decision on the other counts.
"If that's so, that's so," Eagles said.
|@ JeffreyToobin : Finishing previous tweet . . . Today's news -- so far -- is better for defense than prosecution.|
HuffPost Media reports:
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was characteristically candid about the latest shambolic developments in the John Edwards corruption trial.
Click here to read more.
While the 16 jurors in the John Edwards trail are not allowed to be fully identified until after the trial, the court has provided a list of their occupations:
- Special education teacher
- Financial consultant
- Customer service
- Maintenance mechanic
- Retired railroad engineer
- Human resources
- Retired accountant
- Heat press lead
- Retired police/fire department
- Corporate vice president
- Restaurant employee
- Machine operator
-- Ethan Klapper
|@ AP : MORE: Judge apparently misunderstood Edwards jurors and thought they had reached a verdict on all six counts: http://t.co/cPimsyoY -MS|
|@ HuffPostMedia : Jeffrey Toobin on CNN: 'this is a mess. This is not how a trial is supposed to end.' #edwards|
The AP reports:
The jury in the John Edwards campaign corruption trial has reached a verdict on one of six counts, but is apparently deadlocked on the others.
The judge told the jury Thursday that she understood that the panel had reached a verdict on all counts, and the jury foreman said no.
Prosecutors argued that the jury should keep deliberating and the defense asked for the verdict on the one count and a mistrial on the others.