Mystery note delays deliberations in John Edwards trial


Former US Sen. John Edwards leaves with his mother Bobbie Edwards (R) and daughter Cate Edwards (L) after the seventh day of jury deliberations at federal court May 29, 2012, in Greensboro, NC. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)


Sara D. Davis

A note from a juror has again stalled deliberations in the John Edwards corruption trial, the third such delay in as many days.

US District Judge Catherine Eagles closed the courtroom briefly Wednesday afternoon to discuss a juror issue with prosecutors and defense attorneys after the note was brought forward, ABC News reported.

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The note's contents were not disclosed.

Eagles has admonished the jury twice in recent days, warning them not to discuss the case outside the jury room or deliberate if all 12 members aren't present, Raleigh, N.C., TV station WRAL reported.

"Small group discussions have the potential to cause division," Eagles told jurors Tuesday. "You act together, and so your discussions and deliberations should be together."

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The latest development comes after reports late last week that an alternate female juror was openly flirting with Edwards during the proceedings.

Deliberations dragged into their eighth day on Wednesday, and Eagles signaled Tuesday that potential scheduling conflicts could cause further delays. Some jurors have requested time off for personal matters, like attending a child's high school graduation, according to ABC News.

The Edwards jury got an early start Wednesday morning as part of a schedule to work an extra 30 minutes on Wednesday and Thursday, Winston-Salem TV station WXII reported.

The former senator is accused of using nearly $1 million in donations to hide an affair with his mistress Rielle Hunter during his 2008 presidential campaign. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison and fined as much as $1.5 million.

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