The jury deciding the fate of former presidential candidate John Edwards, who is accused of using illegal campaign donations to hide an extramarital affair, ended its first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.
About three hours into deliberations, the federal jury in Greensboro, North Carolina, requested exhibits relating to Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, one of two people whose payments to Edwards are in dispute. Among the items requested were copies of two checks Mellon wrote to an interior decorator that were later deposited into the bank account of Edwards’s former campaign aide, Andrew Young.
The jury also asked to see an April 2007 letter Mellon sent suggesting that Edwards send her “all bills” necessary and important for his campaign after media reports on the price of his haircuts. The jury will continue deliberating on May 21.
Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, a vice presidential candidate in 2004 and a Democratic presidential contender in 2008, was indicted in June after a two-year investigation. He’s accused of illegally using almost $1 million in campaign contributions from Mellon and Fred Baron, a now-deceased trial attorney, to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter.
He faces as long as five years in prison for each of the six counts against him, if convicted.
The case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-00161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro).