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Jury Set to Deliberate Jefferson’s Fate

A jury in Alexandria, Virginia will soon be deliberating the fate of former Congressman William Jefferson.

Wednesday, closing arguments wrapped up in the case. Prosecutors started off the day depicting Jefferson as a politician just looking for a payday. They describe the $90,000 in cash found in his freezer as a bribe intended for the vice president of Nigeria.

After the prosecution, the defense had their turn for closing arguments, which lasted about two hours, and then the prosecution followed up with a 30 minute rebuttal.

Thursday morning, the judge should begin reading instructions to the jury before they deliberate. ABC 26 legal analyst Tim Meche says it could be a lengthy process, up to two hours, based on how many charges Jefferson is facing.

Another unexpected twist in this case, according to Meche, is the fact that only two witnesses testified for the defense throughout the whole trial. Jefferson himself never testified, Meche says this is rare for a white collar trial. “Most observers thought, including myself, that he would testify in this trial. Perhaps something happened during the trial that the defense wasn’t expecting, maybe he never planned to testify, we’ll probably never know” Meche says.

Jefferson faces 16 different charges. It will take a unanimous vote by jurors to convict him on each count.