Jurors 'Can't Reach' Unanimous Verdict in Sen. Menendez Trial


The jury in the federal corruption trial of U.S. Sen.

"I wish her a great vacation, I wish she hadn't left, but I hope that no juror in the jury room feels bullied by another juror", he said.

Jurors sent Walls a note saying they were not able to reach a unanimous decision on any of the 18 counts prosecutors filed against Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, the wealthy Florida eye doctor and top Menendez donor. Defense attorneys pressed the judge to question jurors, who have been told repeatedly not to read reports about the case, on whether any had heard the excused juror's comments.

The judge excused the jurors for the day, but told them to return the next day - Tuesday, November 14th - in order to continue deliberating.

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"I want you to cease your deliberations, go home and have a good meal and a good sleep".

The judge replaced the dismissed jury member with an alternate and ordered them to restart deliberations. "And clearly there are jurors who believe in my innocence".

A mistrial also would represent a mixed bag for Menendez. Conversely, the charges likely would be hanging over him as he seeks re-election next year, assuming the government seeks a retrial.

Menendez, a Democrat and New Jersey's senior senator, is charged with advocating for Melgen's business interests with top USA government officials in exchange for vacations in the Dominican Republic, private jet flights, hotel stays, a auto service and about $750,000 in political contributions. Last week a juror named Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby was dismissed because she had a previously scheduled vacation to the Bahamas coming up.

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"Under the circumstances and given all that's occurred, it seems to me we should take them at their word, bring them back in, thank them for their service and declare a mistrial", Lowell said.

The men each face about a dozen counts including bribery, fraud and conspiracy.

Both men deny the allegations.

Defense attorneys argued Monday that the excused juror's comments could be a breach of protocol. They also contend Menendez's meetings with government officials were focused on broad policy issues. That ruling, which overturned the conviction of former Republican Virginia Gov.

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