DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After taking a break for the weekend, the jury in John Wiley Price’s corruption trial resumed deliberations on Monday. This is the fourth day of deliberations for jurors, and legal experts said that the lengthy discussion could bode well for the longest-serving Dallas County commissioner.
A former U.S. attorney explained that government corruption cases usually tend to favor the prosecution. But this was never a slam dunk of a case, and the longer that it takes jury members to decide, the more concern prosecutors should have about the upcoming verdict.
Price was at the federal courthouse when the jury returned on Monday, which happened to be his 67th birthday. He has been accused of bribery, tax evasion and mail fraud. Price and assistant Dapheny Fain face 13 counts. Their charges are potentially worth decades of prison time, but Judge Barbara Lynn has said that she may throw out a guilty verdict on mail fraud.
Lynn does not believe that the prosecutors showed enough evidence to prove that mail fraud occurred. She also chastised the prosecution during the trial for not sharing some pieces of evidence with the defense. Testimony in the Price case lasted eight weeks.
Even if the mail fraud verdict is tossed, the jury’s decision still matters. If the jury convicts him and the judge overrules, then the prosecution can appeal. However, if Price is acquitted, then prosecutors cannot appeal.
Price did not take the witness stand during the trial and has declined to comment on the case, per the judge’s orders. But he did say Friday that he continues to work for Dallas County every day as a public official. “5:30 in the morning, every day after court, we’re still taking care of our business,” said Price.