National News

Edwards jury seeks more exhibits during deliberations

Posted May 21, 2012

— The jury deciding the fate of John Edwards finished a second day of deliberations Monday without reaching a verdict.

Jurors requested several emails Monday afternoon involving money from Virginia heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. On Friday, they asked for copies of notes from Mellon to Edwards and former aide Andrew Young, along with other exhibits tied to the money.

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 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 Young.

Neither Edwards nor Hunter took the witness stand during the nearly four weeks of testimony.

Sara Williams-Robbins and Ann Britt-Dingman, who both graduated from North Moore High School with Edwards in 1971, went to the federal courthouse in Greensboro on Monday to lend their support to their former classmate.

"He was just a good person all around and still is a good person, and I don’t think that he’s committed a crime," Williams-Robbins said.

"You know, everybody makes mistakes, but as far as breaking the law, I don’t think that’s what happened," Britt-Dingman said. "We’re just here to support him and let him know that we love him."

High school classmates head to court to support Edwards High school classmates head to court to support Edwards

The jury began its deliberations Friday and resumed Monday, putting in more than 10 hours over the two days.

"While the jury's out, it's pure torture," said Raleigh lawyer Kieran Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor who attended much of the trial. "It's certainly torture for John Edwards not knowing what his fate is going to be, now that it's in the hands of 12 jurors who he can't control.

"It's equally hard for the lawyers," Shanahan continued. "The U.S. Department of Justice does not have a good track record in these (public corruption) cases, so they want a win to show that they have a good understanding of the law.

"Abbe Lowell and the defense team who left nothing – nothing – on the table to help John Edwards in this case, they all are just wondering right now, 'Did we do enough,'" Shanahan said.

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, Shanahan said.


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  • not my real name May 22, 2012

    If he was my dad there is no way in hell I would show up after he disgraced the family like that. Not even if he paid me.

  • GALNC May 22, 2012

    Ax Man...You are right on the money...
    Whats up with the friends bit for support. I am surprised John didn't bring up his son Wade. I read a article where he said..I don't talk about my son to a friend and then repeated the same story he had told him a year earlier. I guess he has to resort to friends to try to make his image now. Cate also has to stand by his side and this has to be painful since he cheated on her Mom and this is part of what caused this whole trial.

  • AX MAN May 22, 2012

    Bring in your high school friends? stupid. Oh I knew him when he was 2 years old and he was a wonderful baby................Give me a break !!!!

  • luxurytravel May 22, 2012

    Sad that if convicted he will spend more time in jail then Raymond Cook will for driving drunk and killing an innocent person.

  • luxurytravel May 22, 2012

    Hey....I went to kindergarden with John Edwards (not). Maybe I should run down to the courthouse and see if I can get on TV too!

  • superman May 22, 2012

    but you love and support your children because they are your children and not because of what they've done.
    Sorry but I disagree. Maybe apples dont fall far from the tree in this case.

  • superman May 22, 2012

    The lawyer said Edwards had "little knowlege" so that admits he knew something and that is enough to vote guilty.

  • Dadof4girls May 22, 2012

    Here is to ... Britt-Dingman said. "We’re just here to support him and let him know that we love him." I am sure John really loves you too!!

  • duster 340 May 22, 2012

    Show them the home movie.

  • JAT May 22, 2012

    If they haven't decided by now, they're probably at an impasse. If I were on they jury, I'd want to start at 8am and run to 6pm to try to resolve this thing and get it over with. No need to be dragging it out so long.