By Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle
Published 1:04 pm, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle
Jury deliberations will continue into a third day in the federal fraud trial of former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman on allegations the ex- GOP lawmaker funneled tax-deductible donations through a series of sham charities to pay off personal and campaign expenses.
The jury of seven women and five men has had the case since late Monday afternoon. They have spent at total of about 12 hours in deliberations on Tuesday and Wednesday. They concluded early on Wednesday due to a previously scheduled commitment of one of the jurors.
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They have submitted two questions to the judge. The first, on Tuesday, was an inquiry about the definition of mail and wire fraud. The second question, toward the end of deliberations on Wednesday, was about whether they needed to rule on three criminal counts listed in the indictment that pertain to Stockman’s former aides, Jason Posey and Thomas Dodd. Both men have pleaded guilty and testified at trial about the scheme.
Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal answered the mail and wire fraud questions, soliciting feedback from the lawyers. She explained to the jury members in writing that they didn’t need to rule on the counts involving Posey and Dodd.
The jury is scheduled to re-convene Thursday morning, the judge said.
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