Jurors Finish Second Day Of Deliberations Without Verdict In DiMasi Trial
BOSTON (CBS) – Jurors went home for the second day without reaching a verdict in the corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi.
Walking out of court, when asked about his feelings on the deliberations, DiMasi said, “Can’t talk right now. Just have to wait.”
This morning, the jury asked the judge to clarity the definition of honest services. Judge Wolf re-read most of his jury instructions, explaining each part needs to be understood in contact of the whole case. This afternoon, the jury also said they discovered a misprint in the verdict paperwork listing the counts.
The jury, made up of 7 women and 5 men, is deliberating over 9 counts against DiMasi, and 8 counts against his accountant Richard Vitale and lobbyist Richard McDonough. Former software salesman Joseph Lally testified for the prosecution in exchange for a plea deal.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports.
The charges include conspiracy, and theft of honest services, by mail and by wire, which includes e-mail. DiMasi is also charged with extortion.
Each honest services fraud carries a 20-year sentence, and the conspiracy charge carries a 5-year sentence.
Prosecutors argue DiMasi, Vitale, McDonough and Lally all took part in a scheme where DiMasi would push thought a software contract with the state in exchange for kickbacks. The defense, which called just three witnesses, argues the state hasn’t proven it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Referral fees or fees for legal service are not illegal; exchanging payments for official acts is a crime.
Jurors will resume deliberations Wednesday morning.