Dismissed Menendez juror predicts hung jury in bribery case

By Daniel Uria  |  Nov. 9, 2017 at 10:26 PM
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Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A juror who was dismissed from the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said she expects deliberation to end in a hung jury.

Evelyn Arroyo-Maultsby, 61, of Hillside, N.J., who was dismissed Friday to attend a scheduled vacation in the Bahamas, said she was adamant Menendez was not guilty and at least three other jurors agreed.

She added the dynamic of the jury room was "very stressful" and predicted one holdout would obstruct the group's decision.

"We have someone in there that definitely doesn't want to hear it," she said. "I think it's going to be a hung jury."

Arroyo-Maultsby described a tense and combative atmosphere in the jury room, adding disorganized deliberations occasionally broke down as jurors spoke over each other and at least once used foul language.

Menendez, a Democratic Senator from New Jersey, was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in April 2015 on 14 felony counts of illegally accepting gifts and political contributions from Florida eye doctor Dr. Salomon Melgen who's was charged with 76 counts of Medicare fraud for stealing up to $190 million from the program.

Both Menendez and Melgen have maintained their innocence.

Arroyo-Maultsby, a Democrat, said the prosecution hadn't made its case against Menendez during the 9-week trial, adding she "absolutely" would vote for him after the trial.

"They are just trying to throw a good man under the bus," Arroyo-Maultsby said.

The 12-person jury hasn't reached a unanimous verdict after three days of deliberation and will begin again on Monday after U.S. District Judge William Walls replaces Arroyo-Maultsby with another alternate juror.

Leaving the courtroom Thursday Menendez said he had "faith" the replacement juror would join the other juror's in arriving at a not-guilty verdict.

"I want to thank the juror who was excused for her service," he said.

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