Still no verdict in Espada trial
The 10th day of deliberations wrapped up for the jury in the corruption case of former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. Yet again, they could not reach a verdict. Our Grace Rauh has been covering the trial from the beginning and has the latest.
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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- They wore red to court, trying to send a message of some sort to the jurors deciding the fate of former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.
“It's a great source of energy to open up pathways of justice for us,” Espada said.
When the jury came into the courtroom Friday afternoon, Espada loyalists wearing red moved into the front row.
Espada and his son are facing up to 15 years in prison for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from a Bronx health care clinic run by the former state senator.
“We are very confident, all the way through, of an innocent verdict,” Espada said.
Espada is keeping up his attacks on the government. He says federal prosecutors and FBI agents are trying to influence the outcome of the case by sitting in the jury box, filling the seats of jurors they think support the defendant.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District declined to comment.
Espada says he has been wearing a rosary to counter the seating arrangement.
“They are taking their seats and it's troublesome because they have information they are not entitled to. And I worry about intimidation,” Espada said.
At one point, it seemed as though the jury had reached a partial verdict. But it turned out to be a false alarm.
“Of course, we still hope that there will be an acquittal here. But we hope that if they are not all willing to acquit that they understand that they are entitled under the law to have a hung jury,” said Susan Necheles, attorney for Espada.
The judge told the jurors to get some rest this weekend and he reminded them not to get any outside input on the case from friends and the media.