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Maryland Politics
Posted at 05:20 PM ET, 11/07/2011

Currie jury asks about conspiracy charge

Update, 5:20 p.m: The Currie jury has gone home for the day without issuing a verdict. Deliberations are scheduled to resume Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Jurors weighing the public corruption case against Maryland Sen. Ulysses Currie sought clarification Monday afternoon on the conspiracy count pending against the Prince George’s Democrat and his two co-defendants.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Currie and two grocery chain executives conspired to use the senator’s office to do a series of government favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse for more than five years, starting around December 2002. The defendants are charged with bribery, extortion and making false statements to the FBI.

In a note sent to Judge Richard D. Bennett at 12:35 p.m., the jury asked:


After hearing from lawyers on both sides, Bennett ruled the answer to the jury’s question was “yes,” so long as the conspiracy took place reasonably near the window alleged.

Before the jury returned to hear the judge’s instructions, Joseph L. Evans, a lawyer for Currie, unsuccessfully objected, saying pushing the start date back two years would mean what was alleged was “some other conspiracy.”

The jury, sitting in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, resumed deliberations around 3 p.m.

By  |  05:20 PM ET, 11/07/2011

 
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