John Wiley Price Trial Recap: Week 9

The jury in the John Wiley Price trial continues to deliberate over whether the powerful county commissioner is guilty of bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion.Price is accused of accepting nearly $1 million in bribes from his close friend and political associate, Kathy Nealy, for taking official action to help her clients. Nealy will be tried later. Dapheny Fain, a co-defendant in the trial who is Price's longtime chief of staff, is accused of helping the commissioner dodge taxes and lying to the FBI.Here is a recap of the ninth week of trial:--Lynn on Monday decided to let the jury consider all 11 counts against Price but said she is very likely to toss the six mail fraud counts even if the jury finds him guilty. Lynn said prosecutors did not show a linkage between fraud allegations and mailings Nealy made for her car payments. She is accused of letting Price use a BMW and Chevrolet Avalanche.--Attorneys for both sides gave their closing arguments to the jury on Tuesday. The government went first and painstakingly recited the evidence jurors heard over seven weeks. Defense attorneys, however, injected emotion and drama into their remarks, slamming the government for unfairly targeting Price with enormous mounds of evidence for alleged crimes that occurred many years ago. --Jurors started their deliberations on Wednesday. At the end of the day, they submitted two questions to the judge, who did not make them public. --On Thursday, prosecutors filed a brief arguing that the seven counts against Price involving deprivation of honest services through mail fraud should not be tossed out. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton said the car payments were a key part of the stream of benefits Nealy gave Price for his votes. Nealy's car payments helped disguise the fact that Price was the true owner and user of the vehicles, she said.--The jury ended their deliberations for the week on Friday around lunchtime. The half day was previously scheduled. They will regroup Monday morning. Here is a breakdown of the charges against Price.  Continue reading...

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