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John Edwards Not Guilty of accepting illegal campaign funds

Mistrial declared on five counts

Mistrial declared on the remaining 5 counts

By Dock Walls, @dockwalls

On Thursday, the jury deciding the John Edwards case ended its deliberations and declared a verdict. The jury, comprised of four females and eight males, found the former Presidential candidate Not Guilty of receiving illegal campaign funds from Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. However, the jury deadlocked on the remaining five counts Prosecutors must now decide whether they will seek a new trial on those outstanding counts.

John Edwards, his parents and his oldest daughter, Cate, all of whom had been present in the U.S. District courtroom every day since the start of jury deliberations, were obviously relieved. John and those family members were there, in the Greensboro, NC courtroom, when the jury foreman delivered the verdict to Judge Catherine Eagles. Outside the courtroom, Edwards said, “I want to make sure that everyone hears from me…that while I don’t believe I did anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins.”

The prosecution had insisted the almost $1 million dollars was used to cover up Edward’s affair with Presidential campaign media aide Rielle Hunter was fraudulently spent. Defense attorneys argued those were not campaign donations but private gifts from friends not subject to campaign finance laws. For a conviction, on retrial, all 12 North Carolina jurors must decide that the former presidential nominee is guilty of campaign fraud on at least one of the five felony counts. If convicted on all five remaining counts, John Edwards faces a maximum sentence of more than 20 years.