A mistrial has been declared in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, multiple media outlets have reported.
U.S. District Judge William Walls declared the mistrial at around 1 p.m. Thursday after hearing the jury declare for a second time that it was deadlocked. The judge interviewed jurors individually in chambers before calling the case a mistrial.
Jurors said in their note that they “reviewed the evidence slowly, thoroughly and in great detail,” according to NorthJersey.com. “We have each tried to look at this case from different viewpoints, but still feel strongly in our positions, nor are we willing to move away from our strong convictions,” the jury’s note said, as it was read in court by a defense attorney.
The judge rejected calls from the prosecution to instruct the jury about reaching a partial jury verdict, in which jurors reach a decision on some charges but not all, USA Today reported.
Thursday’s jury note marked the second time this week that jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked. Walls told the jury to continue deliberating on Tuesday after its first note declaring that a unanimous verdict could not be reached.
The mistrial comes in the 11th week of a trial on charges that Menendez used the power of his office to aid Melgen with business and personal matters in exchange for flights on the doctor’s private jet, upscale hotel lodgings and campaign contributions. Menendez was also charged with failing to mention gifts from Melgen on Senate disclosure forms.