John Edwards Not Guilty on 1 Count: Mistrial on 5 Counts

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards not guilty on one count; a mistrial declared on 5 counts. That was the verdict handed down Thursday in the John Edwards trial on charges of campaign finance corruption. The John Edwards not guilty verdict comes on the heels of reports the former presidential candidate was actually flirting with some of the members of the jury.

On Thursday afternoon, the jury in the John Edwards trial reported they had a unanimous verdict on one charge against the former North Carolina senator. On the other six charges, however, they reported they could not make a decision. The judge sent the jury back out to deliberate further, but they returned shortly only to declare they were hopelessly deadlocked on all but one charge. Thus, a John Edwards not guilty verdict was declared on one charge, and a mistrial declared on the other five.

The one charge the jury was able to declare a verdict on involved donations from heiress Rachel Mellon to John Edwards campaign fund during his 2008 presidential run. A check from Rachel Mellon for $200,000 was reportedly cashed after the campaign was already over and it was alleged the funds had been used illegally to pay for the cover-up of Edwards’ relationship with mistress Rielle Hunter. Edwards’ legal team argued some funds were actually just gifts from friends and not intended for his campaign, and other funds were diverted by former staffer Andrew Young, who testified at the trial against Edwards under immunity.

The former politician exited the courthouse with a smile on Thursday afternoon after the John Edward not guilty verdict was handed down by the jury and the other charges were dismissed on mistrial. Outside the courthouse, John Edwards offered his thanks to the jury and, while continuing to deny he did anything criminal, stated he “did an awful, awful lot that was wrong, and there is no one else that is responsible for my sins.”

So far there is no word on whether a retrial will be planned.

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Annaka Turner

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