Jury Problems Cause John Wiley Price Trial Delays

Price's trial expected to last about four months

Jury problems are causing delays at the onset of the John Wiley Price bribery trial Thursday.[[414360543,R]]

Opening statements planned for Thursday are now scheduled for Monday.

A juror who went to the hospital since selection was completed Tuesday was replaced Thursday morning with an alternate. Judge Barbara Lynn postponed Friday's planned court session because of another juror's family issues.

Thursday the jury did hear the 107-page indictment read in court. The reading took four hours between morning and afternoon sessions.

The indictment accuses Price and his top assistant, Daphne Fain, of a scheme that paid Price almost $1 million in bribes over a 10 year period.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers will each get two hours to make their opening remarks. The defense asked to speak on the same day as prosecutors so the opening statements did not start with what was left of the court session Thursday.

Price was indicted on bribery and income tax evasion charges nearly three years ago. Price was reelected to the Dallas County Commissioners Court in 2016 by voters who supported him despite the accusations.

The trial is expected last about four months. Court records show around 200 witness could be called with thousands of pieces of evidence for the jury.

Three alternates are still hearing the case along with 12 jurors in case additional replacements are required. But the judge has never made it clear which people are actual jurors and which are possible replacements. Of the 15 people sitting in the jury box, six are white women, two are black women, two are black men men, two are white men, one is a Hispanic woman, one is a Hispanic man and one is an Asian woman.  

Price and Fain formally pleaded 'not guilty' in front of the jury Thursday after the indictment was read.

Criminal defense attorney Chris Lewis discusses the makeup of the jury in the John Wiley Price corruption trial.

Defendant Kathy Nealy is accused of paying most of the alleged bribes which she received from companies with pending county business.  Nealy is to be tried separately at a later date.

Two people also charged in the case have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify for the government.

Co-defendant's John Wiley Price and Daphne Fain enter court, Feb. 23, 2017.

Click here for the latest from NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff who is tweeting live from the trial.

Contact Us