Jurors in the Corrine Brown trial ended their work for the day quietly Wednesday, but their day began with some drama.
In an early start Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan sealed the courtroom around 8:30 a.m. to interview a juror about comments a colleague thought was concerning.
Another juror reportedly called the court Tuesday night after the jury was dismissed for the day in former Congresswoman Corrine Brown's corruption trial to raise concerns about some strange behavior and references to a 'higher power.'
After an hour and a half of a closed-door interview, Corrigan reconvened court and announced he was dismissing juror 13. Juror 5 took his place, one of the four alternates kept on hand.
Juror 5 had been kept in a separate part of the federal court building in downtown Jacksonville and was dropped in to fill out the 12-person jury.
Twelve hours of deliberation had to be thrown out and the jury was required to restart deliberations.
After maybe half an hour of deliberation, the jury asked the first question of the trial.
Brown is facing 22 counts of a 24-count indictment handed down in last July. She's accused of lying on her tax forms and financial disclosure forms, conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud, mail and wire fraud.
The jury wanted to know if Brown would be responsible for everything on her tax form if she did not sign it or provide the information to her tax preparer. Both the prosecution and defense suggested Corrigan tell them to review their jury instructions.
Court was silent for most of the day, until a little before 3 p.m. when the jury asked a second question about counts 2 - 8 of the indictment dealing with Brown's mail fraud charges.
The jury wanted to know if, to find her guilty on those charges, the prosecution needed to prove four bullet points listed on their instructions beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The prerequisites for finding her guilty are listed in the instructions as:
- The Defendant knowingly devised or participated in a scheme to defraud, or to obtain money or property by using false pretenses, representations, or promises.
- The false pretenses, representations, or promises were about a material fact.
- The Defendant acted with the intent to defraud.
- The Defendant transmitted or caused to be transmitted by wire some communication in interstate commerce to help carry out the scheme to defraud.
Corrigan and the attorneys agreed they would.
"This may be the shortest answer I've ever written," Corrigan joked to the court.
Then court was quiet again until Corrigan reconvened court to dismiss the jury for the day. Deliberations are set to begin in the morning at 9 a.m.
Follow First Coast News for continuing coverage of the Corrine Brown corruption case.
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