Martha Stewart Jury Deliberates, Requests Testimony
The jury in the Martha Stewart trial ended its first day of deliberations without a verdict, and seemingly without much movement toward one. The jury did, however, request some key evidence to ponder when it resumes deliberations at 10 a.m. EST Thursday.
After a full afternoon of deliberations, the 12 jurors offered a small insight into their progress when they sent Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum a note requesting a host of additional evidence to review, including: transcripts of Peter Bacanovic's Feb. 13, 2002, meeting with government investigators, the phone message logs of Stewart's assistant Anne Armstrong, and the transcript of testimony by Securities and Exchange Commission agent Helene Glotzer.
The jurors also requested government exhibit 81, which is the profit/loss worksheet Bacanovic used to track Stewart's brokerage account in December 2001. In count five of their indictment against the former Merrill Lynch broker, the government alleges that Bacanovic doctored the worksheet by adding "@60" after the fact to the line that lists ImClone Systems (IMCL). The defense maintains that Bacanovic simply used a different pen when making the "@60" entry on the page.
Stewart and Bacanovic, the co-defendants, face five years in prison each on charges they obstructed justice by inventing a story that Stewart had an agreement to sell ImClone shares when they fell to $60.Earlier in the day, Cedarbaum sent the case to the jury. She told the jury of eight women and four men that there's "no magic formula by which you should evaluate testimony," adding that "in deciding what to believe, remember that you should use your common sense and good judgment." She noted that accomplice testimony -- the type of evidence on which the government's case rests in large measure -- needn't be corroborated, but "must be scrutinized with particular care." The government's star witness was Douglas Faneuil, an assistant to Bacanovic, Stewart's stock broker. On Monday, defense and prosecution lawyers alike told the jury in federal court in Manhattan that Stewart's fate should turn on the believability of Faneuil, the 28-year-old former Merrill Lynch clerk who claims to have given her a perfectly timed stock tip at the behest of his boss.
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