Bobby Ferguson’s fate is now in the hands of 11 people — not the usual 12.
On day five of deliberations in the bid-rigging trial, U.S. District Judge David Lawson today dismissed a female juror because the woman has prepaid vacation plans and was promised at the start of trial six weeks ago that her travel would not be interrupted by the case. It was presumed at the time that the trial would have wrapped up by now.
The 11 jurors were dismissed about 4:30 p.m. and were ordered to return on Tuesday to continue deliberations, which ended with some progress today. The panel said it had reached a unanimous verdict on some of the charges, but is deadlocked on others.
Deliberations have been interrupted several times. On day three, one juror got sick and had to be replaced by an alternate, causing deliberations to start from scratch. Then there was a funeral one juror had to attend. Then came the vacation plans.
The three defendants — Ferguson, Michael Woodhouse and Calvin Hall — all agreed today to let deliberations continue with just 11 jurors. The prosecution also agreed to go forward with the 11 jurors.
The three men are charged with rigging bids to help Fergusons’ company win a nearly $12-million contract for a low income housing project. Ferguson also faces money laundering, illegal dumping and weapons charges.
All three face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.