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|Day 1 of Deliberations Done in Blago Trial
|(IRN) -- There's no verdict yet in the second federal corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The jury met Friday for their first day of deliberations and left at about 4 o'clock after picking a jury foreperson. They also set a schedule -- Monday through Thursday with a 9 a.m. start time. Eleven women and one man serve on the jury.
Judge James Zagel denied a defense motion Friday that cited unfairness in the trial and a bias on the part of Zagel. Zagel ruled over last year's trial, but insisted that had no influence over how he's handled the second trial.
Blagojevich showed up to court for about an hour to ask to be excused from showing up for jury questions.
"Is it your wish not to come when the jury asks questions?" Zagel asked the former governor. "If it's okay with you, judge," said Blagojevich.
"If that's the case, you are excused from coming in," he said. "You don't mind judge?" clarified Blagojevich. "It's your decision," said Zagel.
Blagojevich left the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago without addressing the media, instead shaking hands with fans.
Last year's jury took two weeks before coming to a verdict. A lone hold-out juror held up the process, but they ultimately found Blagojevich guilty of one count -- lying to the FBI.
After two weeks of silence, Blagojevich addressed the media for the first time Thursday after closing arguments wrapped up. When asked whether he was the victim of a "great frame up," Blagojevich hesitated before responding. "I have a strong opinion about that, but I'm going to let the...let the jury make that decision," he said.
Despite another point in the defense's motion for a mistrial that claimed Blagojevich was tricked into taking the stand, Blagojevich lawyer Aaron Goldstein said Thursday that Blagojevich's time on the stand was the right thing to do.
"He got to tell exactly what happened, and that's the truth, and that's why he's absolutely benefitted. And the case -- we have an absolutely great chance because he testified," said Goldstein.
The jury resumes deliberations Monday at 9 a.m.
(Illinois Radio Network)
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