Edwards takes in ACC ballgame while awaiting jury verdict
Posted May 23, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jurors deliberated for another six hours Wednesday without any resolution in the John Edwards campaign finance case.
The jury has now spent 22 hours in deliberations since last Friday. Wednesday was the first day, however, that they didn't ask to review any evidence introduced in the four-week trial.
While waiting on the jury, the former U.S. senator and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, took in some ACC baseball. The 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship opened Wednesday in Greensboro, about two blocks from the courthouse.
"I might as well get an autograph while I can. You never know what's going to happen," said baseball fan Brian Badeau, who got Edwards to sign his ticket.
Prosecutors have accused Edwards, a former U.S. senator and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, of masterminding a scheme to use nearly $1 million in secret payments from Virginia heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Texas trial lawyer Fred Baron to help hide his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, as he sought the White House in 2008.
Defense attorneys argued Edwards had little direct knowledge of the cover-up, which they say was directed by Baron, his campaign finance chairman, and Edwards' one-time aide Andrew Young.
The only questions the jury has sent to U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles since they began deliberating involve testimony and exhibits linked to money from Mellon. It's unclear whether jurors have yet considered the charges involving Baron.
Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all six campaign finance corruption charges.
Because he has no prior criminal history, Edwards would likely face no more than four or five years behind bars under federal sentencing guidelines if convicted, said Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh lawyer and former federal prosecutor who attended most of the trial.