JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Just when it seemed a verdict in the Corrine Brown case might come down today, the jury threw a curve ball. Judge Timothy Corrigan replaced one of the jurors this morning and told them they all need to start over.
The jury has been deliberating since Monday afternoon, whether former Rep. Corrine Brown stole more than $140,000 from a sham charity she helped set up.
Last night, jurors told the judge that one juror had been talking about brown and referring to a "higher power" and "higher beings" in the case. That got them concerned. The judge held a closed-door meeting with the juror this morning, and then decided to replace him with an alternate juror they've had standing by. Then he instructed them all to start from scratch with their deliberations.
One legal expert says it's a very strange situation, but jurors need to follow the law. “The only law-giver, if you will, is the guy wearing in the black robe - in this case, Judge Corrigan,” said criminal defense attorney Randy Reep, “so whatever you bring to it, common-sense wise, we appreciate. But any preconceived notions you have of violating the law or whatnot, is not acceptable.”
After they started up again, jurors had two questions for the judge about the tax evasion and mail fraud charges. Brown is charged with 22 crimes ranging from conspiracy to wire fraud. If convicted on all charges, she could be sentenced to more than 350 years in prison.