This e-mail came from a source who read federal district court papers made available to the public. Permission granted to re-publish at y3.
Ben Pena convicted by the jury on counts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Found not guilty on count 4. Verdict handed down at 2:45pm Eastern today. Trial ended at 3pm.
The jury spent about 2 hours in deliberations. Seemed they thought it was a straightforward cut-and-dried case — and so did the prosecution.
Sentencing set for October 13 at 10am Eastern. Pre-Trial Services will now prepare the all-important Pre-Sentencing Report (PSR) for the judge.
If he goes to prison, this PSR will affect his prison conditions. The PSR could still also recommended supervised parole (aka ‘probation’).
The judge will still make the final decision on an appropriate sentence.
Gov’t had 109 pieces of evidence with 4 witnesses vs. Ben’s defense with 5 pieces of evidence and 1 witness.
Gov’t needed only one day to present their case — and finished yesterday.
Defense took about 3 hours to present their side, then it went to the jury.
Jury asked 4 questions (by notes to the judge) during deliberations:
At 12:45pm: “Is email part of what is considered ‘mail fraud’?”
At 2:20pm: ‘Conspiracy to commit mail fraud’ — what constitutes the meaning thereof?’
‘Is conspiracy to commit mail fraud based solely on the two pieces of mail evidence. Exhibits 1 & 2.’
At 2:40pm: ‘How many copies of verdict sheet need to be filled out.’
I don’t know what the judge’s answer to these questions were unless I can read a transcript of the trial proceedings.
For the 2:20pm questions, conspiracy to commit mail fraud (count #4) is what the jury found him not guilty of.
I have a copy of the jury’s handwritten questions and the final verdict sheet, as well as a brief official court summary of today’s proceedings.
Ben’s case was the first to go to trial. There’s about a dozen more cases left to go to trial.