Skip to main content

Blagojevich jury agrees on two counts, but not on others

By the CNN Wire Staff
Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at a federal courthouse in Chicago on Thursday.
Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at a federal courthouse in Chicago on Thursday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Jury deliberations break for the weekend
  • Federal jury in trial of Illinois ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich agrees on two of 24 counts
  • Judge James Zagel tells jury returning verdict on only some counts is permissible
  • Blagojevich is accused of racketeering, attempted bribery

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) -- A federal jury weighing the fate of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in his corruption trial told the judge on Thursday it has reached unanimous agreement on two of the 24 counts, but cannot agree on 11 others and has yet to consider the rest.

"We have deliberated and have reached unanimous agreement on two counts and haven't been able to come to an agreements on the rest of the counts," the jury told U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

The judge gave the jurors instructions to re-examine their opinions and attempt to reach a unanimous verdict if possible. Later, the jury deliberations ended for the week, with plans for the panel to meet again on Monday.

According to the jury's note to Zagel, the panel failed to agree on 11 counts, and has yet to consider 11 others involving wire fraud charges against Blagojevich.

Blagojevich faces charges including racketeering, wire fraud, attempted extortion and bribery. The two-term Democrat was removed from office in January 2009 amid accusations that he attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by Barack Obama before he became president.

In one conversation recorded by federal agents, he told an aide, "I've got this thing, and it's [expletive] golden. I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing."

Conviction on the counts of wire fraud, racketeering and attempted extortion could each bring a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while a conviction on the count of solicitation of bribery would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum penalty for bribery conspiracy and false statements is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Blagojevich's brother, Robert, is standing trial with him on four of the charges.

Last week, Robert Blagojevich testified that his brother was "trying to politically work something to his benefit" in handling the Senate appointment but was thinking in terms of political horse-trading, not corruption.

"It didn't seem out of the ordinary, because Obama was taking a lot of people from Illinois with him to D.C.," said Robert Blagojevich, who raised money for his brother. He said the governor "was interested in the idea of being the head of Health and Human Services."

While awaiting trial, the ousted governor asserted his innocence in interviews and on Twitter, as well as during his appearances on the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality show.

CNN's Katherine Wojtecki contributed to this article.