UPDATED | April 26, 2017 4:01 PM – No verdict was reached Wednesday. The jury will resume deliberations Thursday.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Usually Dallas County commissioner John Wiley Price walks through the doors of the Earle Cabell Federal Building and into the courtroom where his corruption trial is being held, but today he and co-defendant, Dapheny Fain, were no shows. Many are taking the absences as a sign that there’s no immediate end in sight to jury deliberations.
The jury has had the case against Price and Fain, his chief of staff, for six days now. Together they face a total of 13 separate counts. Eleven of those counts are against Price for bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion.
Fain’s charges stem from accusations that she helped Dallas’ longest-serving county commissioner cover up receiving nearly $1 million in bribes.
On Tuesday jurors told U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn that they were deadlocked on a number of counts. The judge issued an Allen Charge to the panel — essentially encouraging them to continue deliberating until they reach a unanimous decision.
Matt Orwig, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, finds the latest developments troubling for federal prosecutors. “It’s relatively short into deliberations that the jury is saying that ‘we’re hopelessly deadlocked.’ To give an Allen Charge this early has got to be a concern, certainly nerve-racking for both sides but a big concern for the government.”
It’s possible the jury has already agreed on some of the counts –it just isn’t known which ones, if any.
If there is a deadlock on some of the charges it’ll be up to the government to decide if a retrial is necessary.