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NATIONAL BRIEFING / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Stevens trial jurors are given a break

October 25, 2008|Times Wire Reports

A federal judge ordered a one- to two-day halt to jury deliberations in Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' corruption trial to accommodate a juror whose father died.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to bring an alternate juror onto the panel so deliberations could continue, but the judge declined. The first two days of deliberations have been marked by reports of stress and violent outbursts in the jury room, and Sullivan said jurors might benefit from a break.

Sullivan said he would speak with the juror Sunday night and determine whether she could return Monday. He said he might delay deliberations until Tuesday or call in an alternate.

If an alternate is tapped, jurors would start deliberating anew. Stevens, 84, the Senate's longest-serving Republican, is charged with lying on Senate financial disclosure documents to conceal $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from his friend, millionaire oil contractor Bill Allen.

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