The William Jefferson Chronicles

William Jefferson jury deliberating a fifth day
by Jonathan Tilove, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday August 05, 2009, 2:18 PM

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - The jury in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson began a fifth day of deliberations today about 9:45 a..m EDT.

Before resuming their deliberations, Judge T.S. Ellis III presented the jury with an audio tape of the approximately two hours and 40 minutes of jury instructions he delivered orally Thursday morning, before they began their deliberations.

The jury had asked last week for the transcript, but then informed the court that the audio tape was sufficient.

Before adjourning for the day Tuesday, the judge said the transcript was now ready and asked jurors to tell him in this morning if they might still want it. Defense attorney Robert Trout indicated he thought they should simply be provided with the transcript, and assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Lytle objected, saying there was no pending request for the instructions.

But Ellis decided to provide the transcript, which also had sticky notes alerting the jurors to four misstatements the judge had made in delivering the instructions last week. Ellis went over the mistakes with the jury, which included substituting the word ``government'' for ``defendant,'' and an incorrect date.

The copy of the instructions was handed by the court officer to the jury foreman. According to his interview during jury selection, the man served 20 years in the Army, retiring as a colonel, and later worked for Honeywell. He is one of four African-Americans and four men on the jury of 12.

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