Percoco trial: Jury 'unable to reach a unanimous verdict'

Percoco trial: Jury 'unable to reach a unanimous verdict'

Percoco trial: Jury 'unable to reach a unanimous verdict'

Jurors in the bribery trial of Joe Percoco, former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, were ordered to keep working on Monday after sending out a note indicating they were deadlocked for the second time during seven days of deliberation. Although jurors are in their seventh day of deliberations, many have been partial days, adding up altogether to about 36 hours.

"After considering the facts and the evidence with open minds, and using your instructions as a roadmap, We remain unable to reach a unanimous verdict", read the note, which was sent at 9:35 a.m., 20 minutes after jurors arrived in Manhattan Federal Court.

Prosecutors asked for a partial verdict, but U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of NY declined to do so. Lawyers for Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, former executives with real estate developer COR Development, have moved for a mistrial, but Walden Macht & Haran partner Milt Williams Jr., who represents Gerardi, withdrew his motion. They had also said last Tuesday that they were divided with no hope of a consensus in the six-week trial of Joseph Percoco and three businessmen.

Defense lawyer Michael Yaeger said, "I don't want to encourage horse-trading in a jury, a jury who has been pushed pretty hard and has been out for a while". Another note like this one could lead to a mistrial. Two of the four defendants in the trial asked for a mistrial, which Caproni denied.

A written version of her instructions said, "Your final vote must reflect your conscience belief as to how the issues should be decided". Caproni told the jurors she appreciated the personal burdens facing some jurors, but reminded them they took an oath to try the case.

On Monday, she again urged the jury to continue deliberations, telling them about the importance of the case and the length of time and investment put in by prosecutors and the defense.

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