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Jurors in Andrew Gillum's trial to enter another day of deliberations

Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum exits the federal courthouse in downtown Tallahassee on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.
Valerie Crowder
Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum exits the federal courthouse in downtown Tallahassee on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

The jury in former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's corruption trial has reached a unanimous agreement on the charge of lying to the FBI, but remains deadlocked on the fraud charges against him.

Gillum is charged with lying to the FBI, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. His business associate Sharon Lettman-Hicks, who's also on trial, is facing the same fraud charges. Both pleaded not guilty last year after they were indicted.

Gillum, who was once a rising star in Democratic politics, is accused of working with Lettman-Hicks to funnel campaign contributions and grant money through her firm P&P Communications and into his bank account in the form of salary payments.

Prosecutors say about $242,000 in "ill-gotten" funds were transferred into P&P's bank account. Most of that — about $202,000 — was paid to Gillum, according to evidence presented during the trial.

After about two full days of deliberating, a 12-member jury sent a note to the judge saying it had reached a unanimous agreement on whether or not Gillum lied to the FBI, attorneys in the case who reviewed the note told WFSU News. The jurors didn't say whether they believe Gillum's guilty or not guilty.

The jury is undecided on the fraud charges and indicated in the note that a unanimous decision on those counts is unlikely, attorneys involved in the case say.

If jurors can't reach a unanimous agreement on the fraud charges, the judge could declare a mistrial on those charges. Juries are allowed to deliver partial verdicts, or none at all. A mistrial could result in another trial or the charges getting dropped.

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor told attorneys this was the first communication he's received from jurors in the case saying they were "deadlocked on anything."

He said that it was "unclear" to him whether the jury views the fraud charges together or separately, based on the note. Gillum and Lettman-Hicks are facing a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 17 counts of wire fraud.

"It's not clear to me if all the open counts are the ones they're deadlocked on," Winsor said.

Defense attorneys for both Gillum and Lettman-Hicks asked the judge to declare a mistrial on the fraud charges, and the prosecution requested that jury deliberations continue.

Winsor agreed with prosecutors and said it was "premature to declare a mistrial." He sent back a note advising jurors to continue deliberating.

Prosecutors requested that the judge implement what's known as an "Allen charge" in an effort to encourage the jury to reach a verdict if they remain deadlocked after further deliberations.

Winsor appeared to support the idea, but said he wanted to give jurors more time before bringing them back into the courtroom and urging them to reach a verdict.

"You should take all the time you need," Winsor wrote to the jury.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.