Menendez Judge Meets Privately With Each Juror Amid Deadlock
(Bloomberg) -- The judge in the corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez is interviewing individual jurors privately after the panel told him in a note that it was still deadlocked on the seventh full day of deliberations, raising the prospect of a mistrial.
The note said jurors had reviewed the evidence slowly, thoroughly and in great detail and still couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict, Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell said.
Justice Department attorney Peter Koski asked that U.S. District Judge William Walls instruct the jury on how to reach a partial verdict. Defense attorneys objected, and the judge appeared to agree with them, saying he didn’t want coerce a verdict.
After interviewing the jury foreman and juror No. 2, the judge appeared to spend at least 30 minutes with juror No. 3. Menendez and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen, joined the judge, defense lawyers and prosecutors for the interviews in a private setting outside the courtroom.
The New Jersey Democrat is accused of taking bribes from a Florida doctor and political donor in the form of private jet travel, a Paris vacation and campaign contributions in exchange for pushing the doctor’s business interests at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
(A previous version corrected the number of days of jury deliberations.)
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