Updated from 5:17 p.m. ESTJurors in Martha Stewart's criminal trial finished their second day of deliberations Thursday evening after asking the judge for interview transcripts pertaining to the perjury charge against her former broker Peter Bacanovic. The eight-woman, four-man jury asked Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum for copies of two emails Bacanovic, the ex- Merrill Lynch ( MER) broker, sent to Stewart in December 2001. Both defendants are charged with obstruction of justice and perjury for allegedly concocting a story to explain Stewart's perfectly timed sale of ImClone Systems ( IMCL) shares on Dec. 27, 2001. Deliberations resume Friday at 10 a.m. EST. In a trial that began Jan. 27, where the principal evidence is drawn from a long series of conflicting statements, the jurors are refreshing their memories on the complex questions of who said what, and when. In a series of notes sent to Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, jurors asked for clarification on several of the eight criminal counts Bacanovic and Stewart face. Their final request was for information on the sixth count, which charges Bacanovic with perjury. Counts seven and eight charge each defendant with obstruction of justice and are far less detailed, which means the jury could finish its review of the counts early tomorrow, increasing the possibility that a verdict arrives Friday. Earlier Thursday, jurors received portions of testimony of Helene Glotzer, one of the FBI agents involved in Bacanovic's initial questioning on Jan. 13, 2002. While it's impossible to draw concrete deductions, the request could bode ill for Bacanovic, because the interview contained an account of Stewart's trade that differed from the one given by Stewart's personal assistant. Stewart's sale followed frantic efforts to sell shares of ImClone by the family of its founder, Sam Waksal. According to a tape of the interview played to jurors on Feb. 11, Bacanovic said he called Stewart after learning of the Waksal family selling, simply "to apprise her of the price."
That appeared to contradict testimony given earlier in the trial by Armstrong herself, in which she quoted a message in Stewart's phone message log from Dec. 27, 2001, saying "Peter Bacanovic thinks ImClone is going to start trading downward."
The statements of Bacanovic and Stewart in their initial interviews with the FBI constitute the basis of the charges they face in federal court. Each count carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Meanwhile, Stewart's namesake company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia ( MSO), reported a
The company assured investors that it was prepared for any outcome in the trial. Deliberations in the month-old trial began Wednesday with several requests for key evidence. Jurors offered a small insight into their progress when they sent the judge a note requesting a host of additional evidence to review, including transcripts of Bacanovic's Feb. 13, 2002, meeting with government investigators, the phone-message logs of Stewart's assistant 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 its indictment against Bacanovic, the government alleges that he doctored the worksheet by adding "@60" after the fact to the line that lists ImClone Systems. The defense maintains that Bacanovic simply used a different pen when making the "@60" entry on the page.