Jury deliberates six hours in Ford trial, then quits for the day - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jury deliberates six hours in Ford trial, then quits for the day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The jury in the federal corruption trial of former state Sen. John Ford of Memphis deliberated about six hours Thursday, then quit for the day.

Ford, 66, is accused of taking more than $800,000 to use his position as a senator to advance the interests of two TennCare contractors for the state.

The jurors will resume work Friday morning.

Thursday afternoon, jurors asked for transcripts of three audiotapes from legislative hearings in 2001 and 2002, but U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell said they will have to rely on the tapes themselves.

Earlier Thursday, the jury asked for a copy of the federal law spelling out the offense of wire fraud. Campbell referred them to his written jury instructions.

If convicted, Ford faces a maximum of 20 years for wire fraud and five years each for four counts of concealing facts.

Ford, who did not testify, already is serving a 5½-year prison sentence for a bribery conviction in an unrelated case.

This trial began July 1.

Ford left the Senate in 2005 shortly after his indictment on corruption charges in an FBI investigation called Tennessee Waltz that led to extortion and bribery charges against five current or former state lawmakers.

Ford began his Senate career in 1974. He is the uncle of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who lost a race for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and now appears periodically on cable television as a political commentator.

 

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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