Jury deliberating in Ferguson trial seeks clarifications

Jury deliberating in Ferguson trial seeks clarifications

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Monday was the first full day of jury deliberations in the Bobby Ferguson federal bid-rigging case.  He and two former workers are facing some very serious prison time if they're convicted.

The month-long trial has focused on an alleged conspiracy that prosecutors say cheated taxpayers out of millions.  Defense lawyers say that the case is riddled with racism with only twisted evidence and misleading testimony.

There were a couple of interesting developments Monday.  The jury really focused on two things that they wanted clarification on.

One of them was the meaning of "federal government" and specifically whether or not the Detroit Building Authority is part of the federal government.  The judge answered no, it is not.

This is a federal case and the first count of this is conspiracy to defraud the federal government.  If the testimony comes in that Bobby Ferguson may have defrauded the city government, the Detroit Building Authority, there may not be able to be a conviction.  You've got to defraud the federal government.  I'm not splitting hairs here.  This is perhaps what the jury is thinking.

The second item -- the testimony of Shakib Deria.  He's a former Ferguson employee.  They call him the African, and he took a plea deal in order to avoid deportation.  He testified that Fergeson had a gun in his possession.  Fergeson is a felon.  Felons can't have guns.  So, it seems that the jury now is focusing on whether or not the gun charge is legit.

The judge said that Tuesday morning they will read back Deria's testimony.

Otherwise, the jury is still out, but they'll be back in the courtroom Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.

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