Jury finds Edwards not guilty on one count

May 31, 2012 at 5:12 PM
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GREENSBORO, N.C., May 31 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards was found not guilty Thursday on one of six counts in his federal campaign finance trial.

The judge declared a mistrial on the other five, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Edwards was found not guilty on the third count, involving a $200,000 check heiress Rachel Mellon gave to Edwards towards the end of his campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

The court was prepared for a full verdict Thursday afternoon when the foreman announced jury members had reached a unanimous verdict on only one count. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles sent them back into deliberations, reminding them of the time and costs involved in the trial.

Jurors, however, returned about an hour later and the verdict on the one charge was announced. The judge then declared a mistrial on the other charges.

The jury began deliberations on May 18.

The former Democratic U.S. senator from North Carolina was charged with accepting illegal campaign contributions, conspiracy to receive and conceal the contributions and falsifying documents, which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

The case revolved around money from two wealthy donors that was used to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress from the media. The issue was whether Edwards knew about the contributions during his 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and whether he was aware they were illegal.

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