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No Verdict as Jurors Wrap 10th Day of Deliberations in Espada Trial

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pedro Espada Jr. speaks outside court (Fred Mogul/WNYC)

Jurors in the corruption trial of  Pedro Espada Jr. has concluded a second full week of deliberation without delivering a verdict.

Over the last few days, the jury first hinted it was deadlocked and close to a mistrial — and then that it was close to a verdict. Earlier Friday, the jury sent the judge a note asking if it could deliver a partial verdict and then return to continue deliberating.

The judge said it's possible to do that — and asked if the jury wanted to announce a partial verdict. The forewoman said they did not.

Federal prosecutors say the former state Senator and his son embezzled $600,000 from the network of health clinics Espada founded in the Bronx.

Outside the courtroom, Espada's lawyer, Susan Necheles, said jurors appear not to understand that they can reach a decision that they're hung and cannot agree with one another.

"Of course, we still hope there'll be an acquittal here," she said. "But we hope if they are not all willing to acquit that they understand that they are entitled to have a hung jury, and they don't just have to sit there forever, if they're unable to make a decision."

Deliberations in the nearly two-month-old trial resume on Monday.

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