Juror says reaching Ford verdict was difficult - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Juror says reaching Ford verdict was difficult

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A jury member says reaching a verdict was difficult at the public corruption trial of former state Sen. John Ford.

The 66-year-old Ford was convicted in Nashville last week on federal charges of wire-fraud and failing to report more than $850,000 in payments from state contractors.

He is set for sentencing in September and could draw more than 20 years in prison. The Memphis Democrat is already serving a five-year sentence on an unrelated bribery conviction.

Jackie Chandler - a member of the Nashville jury - said she and other jurors struggled to understand the complicated wire-fraud statute under which Ford was charged.

But she said jurors ultimately agreed he had broken the law by depriving Tennessee citizens of their right to expect honest service from him.

Chandler said the other charges of failing to report payments from the contractors were more straight forward and easily understood. Jurors agreed he was guilty of them, too.

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

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