Jury Finds John Edwards Not Guilty on 1 Count in Campaign Fraud Trial; Mistrial On Other 5 Counts
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) A mistrial has been declared in the campaign fraud trial against ex-presidential candidate John Edwards.
Jurors on Thursday acquitted John Edwards of one of six counts involving him taking money from wealthy heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. They told the judge they are deadlocked on the other five charges against him.
She declared a mistrial.
The ninth day of deliberations Thursday took a confusing turn after the judge mistakenly believed the jurors had reached a verdict on all six counts. She sent them back to deliberate some more.
In about an hour they came back and said they couldn’t reach a decision on the other charges. Edwards was accused of using money from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he ran for president in 2008.
Edwards was accused of masterminding a plan to use money from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. Defense attorneys say Edwards did not knowingly break campaign finance laws. They also say the payments to hide his mistress Rielle Hunter were gifts, not campaign contributions.
The six criminal counts Edwards was charged with included conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, accepting contributions that exceeded limits and causing his campaign to file a false financial disclosure report.
He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all charges.