Judge Refuses to Declare Mistrial in John Edwards Case; Sends Jury Back to Deliberate
John Edwards was found not guilty Thursday of one count in his corruption case, People reports. However, the jury failed to reach verdicts on the five remaining charges and were forced to return to deliberations by the judge, meaning that they could reverse their decision on that count.
The 2004 Democrat Vice Presidential nominee, 58, is charged with illegally using almost $1 million in unreported campaign contributions to conceal his then-pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, during his 2008 presidential campaign.
John Edwards indicted on charges for allegedly using campaign finances to conceal affair
The jury deliberated for nine days before they tried to declare a mistrial on five of the six counts and reaching a decision on Count 3, which had to do with a donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars that Edwards received shortly before he dropped out of the race.
Outside of the courthouse, Edwards praised the jurors to reporters, but maintained his innocence in the case. "While I do not believe that I did anything illegal, or even thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong," he said. "There is no one else responsible for my sins."
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Edwards faces a maximum of 30 years in jail if he is found guilty of all six counts. During the trial, the defense argued that Edwards committed no crime because he did not believe that money spent by his wealthy friends to hide Hunter could be considered campaign contributions.
Edwards' affair with Hunter, a videographer for his campaign, produced a daughter, Francis Quinn, who was born in 2008. He initially publicly denied that he was the father, until he claimed paternity in 2010. In early 2010, he also split from wife Elizabeth Edwards after more than 30 years of marriage. She passed away that December after a long battle with breast cancer.