Jury deliberates in Edmund Ford trial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Jury deliberates in Edmund Ford trial

The fate of former Memphis city councilman Edmund Ford, Senior was placed in the hands of a federal jury Tuesday afternoon.

(Click here to read WMCTV.com's courtroom blog of the trial.)

Ford, on trial in U.S. District Court on bribery and extortion charges, is accused of taking almost $9,000 in bribes to throw his political weight behind a real estate and highway billboard project.

During trial testimony, the jury saw clips of secretly recorded videos showing Ford accepting cash from Joe Cooper, a former city council lobbyist.

Cooper testified he paid Ford for his vote on the real estate project and for his help in rounding up other council votes.

During closing arguments Tuesday, defense attorneys attacked Cooper, calling him a criminal whose testimony could not be trusted.  Attorney Mike Scholl said the government's undercover tapes showed Ford took money for a past due car note and a loan for his business, but not for favors or city council influence.

Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that, while Cooper may not be the most credible witness, jurors need only look at the videotapes, which they said are the lone proof necessary to convict ford of bribery charges.

Ford's trial got under way May 12 and the jury began its deliberations Tuesday afternoon.


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