Citing Stress, Stevens Jury Asks for Break

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Four hours after beginning deliberations in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), jurors sent a note to the judge requesting a break because things are "kind of stressful."

"We need a minute of clarity for all," the jury foreman wrote in the note, which was read aloud in court by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.

Sullivan then sent the jury of eight women and four men home. The jury, which will return to deliberate this morning, was given the case yesterday after hearing a lengthy set of instructions from Sullivan and listening to a month of testimony.

Stevens is accused by federal prosecutors of lying on financial disclosure forms to hide receiving more than $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Girdwood, Alaska, house. Stevens's attorneys contend that the senator paid all the bills he received for the work on the house.

-- Del Quentin Wilber

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