Jury ends first day of deliberations in William Jefferson trial
by The Times-Picayune
Thursday July 30, 2009, 1:35 PM
The jury has ended its first day of deliberations in the federal corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson. They will return Friday morning to resume.
Starting their closed-door discussions after lunch, the jury elected a foreman and sent out a note asking the judge whether it was possible to get a copy of his instructions.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III initially said there would no written copy, but later said one would be provided.
Ellis took about 2 1/2 hours to issue the instructions this morning on the 16-count indictment that accuses Jefferson of using his office to promote business deals for American companies in Africa in exchange for payments to companies controlled by his family. The defense said Jefferson was acting as a private businessman and not subject to the bribery statutes being applied.