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Jurors resume deliberation in Edwards case

May 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM   |   Comments

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GREENSBORO, N.C., May 21 (UPI) -- Jurors began their first full day of deliberations Monday in the case of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, accused of using campaign funds to cover up an affair.

The jury received the case Friday following jury instructions. Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their closing arguments Thursday in the nearly four-week trial in a federal courtroom in Greensboro, N.C.

Edwards, vice presidential candidate in 2004 and a presidential candidate in 2008, is accused of illegally using more than $1 million in donations to cover up his affair with aide Rielle Hunter, and her pregnancy, during his campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination. If convicted, Edwards could face a possible 30 years in jail and a $1.5 million fine.

Kieran Shanahan, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Raleigh, told The (Raleigh) News & Observer he didn't expect Edwards to be sentenced to more than four or five years if convicted based on federal sentencing guidelines.

Shanahan said the charges are similar and related, so it would be more likely sentences would be folded into one should guilty verdicts are returned.

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