Jury asks to go home for the day. They will return Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Before that, Judge Robreno denied a request by the Inquirer and Daily News for access to audio recordings of the judge's conference in chambers with Juror No. 2, who was dismissed last Wednesday after defense attorneys accused her of sleeping during testimony and acting "outwardly hostile" toward defendants. Robreno said that the risk of a mistrial was too great while the jury -- which has run out of alternates -- is deliberating. A juror could be tainted by reading a newspaper account of Juror No. 2's statements, Robreno said.
After the jury hears the Kelly recordings, Judge Robreno will take up a request by The Inquirer and Daily News for the official recording of Judge Robreno's discussions with lawyers and Juror No. 2 last Wednesday before he sent Juror No. 2 home for good. (Kudos to the Daily News' Chris Brennan for making the original request). Defense lawyers had complained that the juror was sleeping and acting "outwardly hostile toward them." Judge Robreno questioned the juror Wednesday before dismissing her.
Jury asks anothe question: They want to hear wiretaps of Councilman Jack Kelly talking to Chris Wright and Ravi Chawla. The judge will play the tapes in the Courtroom at 2 p.m.
Jury sends out a note requesting written instructions on the legal definitions of the law. This is essentially the jury charge that was read to the jurors by Judge Robreno Friday and today.
The jury in the trial of City Council aide Chris Wright began deliberations at 10:20 a.m., after U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno completed instructions.
Wright is facing 13 counts including conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services wire fraud, mail fraud and receiving a bribe. Testimony in the trial began Jan. 29 and ended Feb. 11.
Wright, chief of staff to Republican City Councilman Jack Kelly, is accused of taking a $1,000 check, a free apartment, free parking space and free legal help from developer-brothers Hardeep and Ravi Chawla and their corporate attorney, Andy Teitelman.
Ravi Chawla faces 12 counts, Teitelman 9 counts and Hardeep Chawla 4 counts.
The defendants hugged their attorneys, family members and friends when the jury went out. Deliberations should take all day and could spill into tomorrow.