A federal court jury Wednesday acquitted three former Enron Corp. broadband executives of some charges but deadlocked on the remaining charges involving them and two other executives.
The five were accused of making the failed broadband venture appear strong to investors to boost the company's stock price.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore declined requests from attorneys to identify the nature of the jury split. She issued an order barring jurors from discussing the case, which she said would have to be retried.
Former broadband unit chief executive Joseph Hirko was acquitted on insider-trading and money-laundering counts, and former strategist F. Scott Yeager was acquitted of conspiracy and security and wire fraud counts. In addition, software engineer Rex T. Shelby was acquitted of insider trading. Mistrials were declared on other counts against them.
The jury of 10 men and two women, which deliberated four days and was considering 164 counts, also was unable to reach a verdict on any counts involving former finance chief Kevin A. Howard and in-house accountant Michael W. Krautz.
Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling, set for trial in January alongside Enron founder Kenneth L. Lay and former chief accounting officer Richard A. Causey, also faces charges that he lied to Wall Street about the broadband unit's capabilities and value.
Federal prosecutor Cliff Stricklin asked Gilmore to order the jury to resume deliberations Thursday, saying four days was not long enough given the complexity of the case and the huge amount of evidence delivered to jurors after three months of testimony.
Gilmore said she agreed the four-day deliberation time seemed short, but she declined to bring the jury back for more talks.
Prosecutors left the courtroom without comment.