The Blagojevich Jury Agrees On 2 Counts – Cautious Optimism In Blagojevich Camp


Lawyers: Blagojevich jury is gone for the week

By

Natasha Korecki

on August 12, 2010 4:21 PM

Reporting with Sarah Ostman and Dave McKinney

So it’s wait until next week.

We’ve reported earlier this week — but it’s just been reiterated — jurors in the Rod Blagojevich case have said they do not want to deliberate tomorrow.

And two attorneys in the case say they were just told this that the jury is gone for the day.

The news comes after jurors indicated today that they were at a stalemate on most of the 24 counts in the indictment. They had only come to a conclusion on two counts, they said.

It was a tense day, which Rod Blagojevich and his brother both spent inside the courthouse. Rod Blagojevich played a board game with some reporters and attorneys in the cafeteria, while waiting on an update from jurors that never came.

A note sent to the judge today said they hadn’t even considered the wire fraud counts, which make up 11 of the 24 charges in the indictment.

“We’ve deliberated on all acts and counts with the exception of the wire fraud counts. We have reached unanimous agreement on two counts. We have been unable to agree on any of the remaining counts.”

What the jury’s weighing — the different schemes

By

Natasha Korecki

on August 12, 2010 2:29 PM

Here’s a story explaining the different schemes against Rod Blagojevich and maybe give an inkling into what the jury’s hashing through right now.
In all, there’s 24 counts total. Rod is charged in each of the 24 counts, Robert is charged in four of the 24 counts.

Rod Blagojevich skips lunch, opts for a Snapple

By

Sarah Ostman
on August 12, 2010 12:24 PM
Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch

In the courthouse cafeteria, Rod Blagojevich walks up to random people, shaking their hands.

“Enjoy your lunch,” he says.

Asked what he’s eating for lunch, the ex-governor points to his Snapple, not saying a word. He’s sitting with Patti, who does appear to be eating some food.

Blagojevich attorney: “There’s a lot of cautious optimism” in Blagojevich camp

By

Sarah Ostman
on August 12, 2010 8 PM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch

After court, defense attorneys gathered in the hot and humid lobby of the Dirksen Federal Building to address the media.

“I think there’s a lot of cautious optimism,” said attorney Aaron Goldstein of the Blagojevich camp.

Still, Goldstein added, the former governor is “anxious.”

Jury unanimous on only two counts; has not yet deliberated on 11 wire fraud counts

By

Sarah Ostman

on August 12, 2010 11:28 AM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallash

The Blagojevich jury has reached a unanimous decision on only two of counts before them — and they have not yet started deliberating on what could be a big chunk of work for them.

“Your Honor,” their note reads. “In response to your communication of 11 August, 2010, we’ve deliberated on all acts and counts with the exception of the wire fraud counts. We have reached unanimous agreement on two counts. We have been unable to agree on any of the remaining counts.”

At hearing the news, Rod presses his lips together and looks as if he is trying to suppress a smile.

Judge James Zagel wants to send jurors a note telling them to go back and deliberate on the counts they haven’t even talked about. There are 11 wire fraud counts, and they largely have to do with the Senate seat sale.

The judge proposed responding with a note that says, in part:

“You should deliberate on the wire fraud counts to the extent necessary to enable you to vote on those counts. We recognize that your stated inability to reach agreement on other counts may have established to your satisfaction that you would be similarly unable to reach unanimity on some or all of the wire fraud counts. Nonetheless, a deliberative decision by you on each of those counts should be made, even if it is a decision that you cannot reach unanimity on any of those counts.”

Zagel has given attorneys 10 minutes to mull this over.

While we wait, Rod and Patti huddle with a family member and an adviser, who reached over and straightened Rod’s blue tie as they spoke. Rod’s face showed no emotion. At the next table. Robert Blagojevich stood with his wife and friends, likewise not letting his face betray emotion.

Back in court, attorneys say they are OK with the wording of the note with the exception of the word “vote,” which they want to change to the word “decide.”

“We don’t want a situation where this is viewed as a supplemental instruction,” a defense attorney tells the judge. Zagel agrees.

“The jury is at lunch,” the judge says. “When they return, they will receive this in written form.”

At the conclusion of court, Rod walks up to Patti and hugs her, rubbing her shoulders from behind.

Court is adjourned.

Blagojevich trial: And … we’re still waiting

By

Sarah Ostman

on August 12, 2010 11:11 AM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch

Unsurprisingly, we’re still waiting for the 11 a.m. hearing to begin.

We’re on “Zagel time,” reporters are joking.

There’s chatter in the courtroom while we wait. Rod and his lawyers are talking and occasionally there’s a loud roar of laughter from his packed defense table.

Sketch artists are furiously drawing.

Earlier, Rod got up from his chair, walked over to Patti and pecked her on the cheek.

She’s wearing a flowy, white and black blouse and a black skirt. She’s sitting in her same spot — where she was all trial long, in the front row. Her brother is sitting next to her, his arm stretched behind her on a black leather chair.

The door leading from the courtroom to the judge’s chamber has been ajar. Someone just shut it hard. And we wait.

The judge has entered.

Blagojevich trial: Hearing about jury deadlock nears

By

Sarah Ostman

on August 12, 2010 10:49 AM

Reporting with Natasha Korecki, Dave McKinney and Abdon Pallasch

People are assembling for a scheduled 11 a.m. hearing in which we expect to get more information on the jury’s deadlock.

Robert Blagojevich walks in the 25th floor courtroom alongside his wife, Julie, and son, Alex. “Good morning,” he says to the reporters assembling in the hall.

A few minutes later, the father and son Sam Adams walk in, all smiles. Sam Sr. is dressed in a tan three-piece suit.

There’s a line of people running all the way down the hallway of the 25th floor. Some are members of the public, hoping to slip into the courtroom — even though we don’t know the content of the note.

Out on the sidewalk, camera crews line the barricades set up at the courthouse’s Dearborn Street entrance. Police Supt. Jody Weis stops by to shake hands with a Chicago police office providing security outside.

Rod and Patti Blagojevich enter the building at around 10:55.

“Good luck. God bless you,” Rod told the crowd.

The pair walks past a crowd into the elevators. A man in line leans over to tell Rod that two people in Peoria, including “Carly” said to say hi — “especially to Patti.”

Patti turns with recognition and says, “Oh.”

Rod: “How old is Carly, 15?”

The ex-governor gives a gentle wave to the crowd and walks in without saying anything.

Rod — who was called out in the trial for dropping thousands upon thousands of dollars on designer neckties — is again wearing the same Copenhagen blue tie that he’s worn time and time again throughout the proceedings.

For previous trial updates click The Blagojevich Jury Cannot Reach A Unanimous Decision On All Counts

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