Jury deliberations continue in McDonnell trial

RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA9) -- Jury deliberations continue Wednesday in the the federal corruption trial of Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

After five and a half hours of deliberation Tuesday, the jury was released at about 5:30 p.m. The seven men, five women jury must vote on a total of 26 charges between the two defendants.

Bob and Maureen McDonnell are charged in a fourteen count indictment, accused of accepting more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from wealthy businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplement.

The couple is charged together on counts one through 11, the public corruption charges. Bob McDonnell is charged alone on count 12 for bank fraud, and Maureen McDonnell is charged alone on count 14 for obstruction. The couple is charged together on count 13 for bank fraud.

RECAP: Closing arguments end in McDonnell trial

READ: 14 count indictment against McDonnells

The McDonnells must have knowingly and deliberately entered a corrupt agreement in order to be found guilty of conspiracy alleged in counts one through 11, Judge Spencer said during jury instructions Tuesday morning.

In a win for the prosecution, Judge Spencer defined an officials act as an act that may have been customarily performed, not necessarily something that was specific or written down. Essentially, setting up a meeting or hosting a lunch can be considered an official act, according to the jury instructions.

The credibility of a witness may be discredited if the general reputation of truthfulness is bad, Judge Spencer instructed the jury. Additionally, the testimony of an immunized witness must be examined and weighed by the jury with greater care than other testimonies, Judge Spencer said. The instruction was in reference to Jonnie Williams, who received immunity from securities fraud for his testimony.

On the contrary, good character alone is enough to give rise to reasonable doubt, according to jury instructions. Also, a statement made by the defendants in good faith doesn't amount to a crime, Judge Spencer said. Essentially, if the McDonnells didn't intend to defraud to deceive a bank, they can't be found guilty on the related charges.

A bribe or corrupt agreement doesn't have to be formally expressed to prove a conspiracy, and the alleged quid pro quo can be established by circumstances alone, according to Judge Spencer. The prosecution, who has the burden of prove, doesn't have to show that the conspiracy resulted in anything, but just that one existed, Judge Spencer said.

McDonnell's defense team has argued that the governor never did anything for Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams or his company that he didn't do for other Virginia businesses. However, even if McDonnell only performed routine acts for Jonnie Williams, he can still be found guilty if there's evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of a bribe, according to the jury instructions.

Read a recap of closing arguments here: http://on.wusa9.com/1x5kpqq


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