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No verdict yet in Orie case

| Friday, March 23, 2012

The Allegheny County jury deciding the fate of state Sen. Jane Orie deliberated 12 hours today ?without reaching a verdict and will continue their discussions Saturday.

The jury of five men and seven women has been sequestered since they started deliberations at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the panel has deliberated for 17 hours over two days.

Orie, 50, a McCandless Republican, is facing 24 charges stemming from two criminal cases. She is accused of directing her state-paid staff to do political work for herself and her sister, state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, and of introducing forged documents that led to a mistrial last March during her first trial.

The jury today asked three questions and took two breaks outside. They took a two-hour break to eat dinner at Damon`s in the U.S. Steel Tower before resuming deliberations at 9:30 p.m. They ended deliberations at 10:45.

The jury`s questions were related to accusations that Orie violated the state election code. The jury asked whether count 15 of Orie`s second case stemmed from allegations that Orie did not sign her 2006 campaign finance reports or have them notarized. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning told them to reread their jury instructions.

The second question asked whether count 16 of the second case pertains to allegations that an in-kind contribution to Orie was not reported in 2006. Manning answered yes. The third question pertained to an exhibit the jurors said they could not find. The judge said the court would provide a copy.

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