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April 12, 2007 8:57 AM

Day 16: Jury deliberating

5 p.m.: Jury has been dismissed for the day, it will resume deliberations Friday at 8:45 a.m

4:10 p.m.: Judge Nottingham said the jury will deliberate Friday unless there is an "emergency" and he suggests a movie for the defense team.

Nottingham told lead defense attorney Herbert Stern and his team that they can't get a flight out of Denver anyway because United Airlines just canceled a bunch of flights. He suggested with a laugh they could rent the movie "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead."

The jury just came back with three more questions:
1. We have an exhibit from former Qwest employee Sally Anderson's testimony. Are we supposed to have it? (No, judge had the clerk remove it).
2. Can we get 11 more copies of the indictment? (Yes).
3. Can we have the foamboard that prosecutor Colleen Conry used in her closing showing all the counts in the indictment? (No).

2:30 p.m.: The jury has asked its first set of questions, and the notes indicated the jury foreman is the United Airlines pilot.

Legal experts said after jury selection that they thought the United Airlines pilot might be selected foreman. At the time, experts were divided over whether that would bode well for the defense or prosecution.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors were so anxious to hear who had signed the notes that three of them were standing, which caused Judge Edward Nottingham to quip that they reminded him of a line in "My Fair Lady -- a voice too eager and a smile too quick (broad)."

The jury's questions included a request for a master list of exhibits, which will be provided later this afternoon.

The United pilot said during jury selection that he thinks chief executives should be paid well "as long as they're returning equity back to the shareholders and the company is meeting its objectives." The pilot also said he had no hard feelings about United going through bankruptcy.

10:05 a.m.: The jury in the insider-trading case against Joe Nacchio has started its deliberations.

9:50 a.m.: Judge Nottingham said the jury must decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether Joe Nacchio sold his Qwest stock on the basis of material, nonpublic information.

Nottingham said it's not enough for Nacchio to be found to have possessed material, nonpublic information.

The material information must be a significant factor or cause in Nacchio's decision to sell stock, Nottingham said.

He also is telling jurors that the "good faith" of a defendant is a complete defense. A honest mistake in judgment doesn't rise to the level of criminal conduct.

The government must prove the opposite of good faith, Nottingham said, that Nacchio acted with the intent to defraud.

To convict, the 12-person jury must be unanimous. The jury will be considering each of the 42 counts. If convicted, Nottingham told jurors he will decide about the punishment.

9:30 a.m.: The jury is told that Joe Nacchio had an "absolute right" under the Constitution not to testify, as jury instructions continue.

The jury shouldn't make any inferences by the fact that Nacchio didn't testify on his behalf.

Judge Nottingham also has instructed the jury to disregard the entire testimony of former Qwest/U S West employee Sally Anderson.

Nottingham earlier ruled Anderson's testimony was outside the scope of the indictment, and resulted from a misunderstanding between him and government prosecutors about what she would say.

Anderson said she increased her retirement allocation in Qwest stock to 100 percent after Nacchio sent a bullish email in September 2000 about the company's prospects. The insider trading period covers the first five months of 2001.

Nottingham also told jurors they should examine testimony by witnesses who received immunity with "greater care" than the testimony of an ordinary witness. He said jurors should consider whether the testimony was colored in such a way as to further the witness's own interest.

He provided a similar instruction for witnesses who had entered guilty pleas.

8:55 a.m.: The jury is now getting its instructions from Judge Edward Nottingham.

Nottingham is telling the jurors they have two main duties: to decide what the facts are, and to apply the law to the facts. Jurors must decide if the government has proven that former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jurors will be deliberating on 42 separate charges against Nacchio, which correspond to 42 stock transactions during the first five months of 2001.

Nottingham tells the jurors that they aren't to conduct any research or investigation about the case outside the courtroom. They also can't keep their cell phones in the jury room.

Jurors are told that former Qwest associate general counsel Yash Rana is unavailable to testify. Rana is a key figure in a stock sale backdating issue, but his attorney indicated to both the defense and prosecution that he would take the Fifth if called to testify.

Discussion

  • April 12, 2007

    11:30 AM

    JIM writes:

    HANG HIM

  • April 12, 2007

    2:31 PM

    ES writes:

    The judge should impose something more creative (like his book keeping) Have him work every weekend for the next 10 years at a homeless shelter, where he can see what happened to all the people who held on to their Qwest stock while Joe and Uncle Phil dumped theirs!

  • April 12, 2007

    5:52 PM

    jeff doesn't know his rock n' roll writes:

    I called up my friend LeRoy on the phone
    I said, Buddy, I'm afraid to be alone
    'Cause I got some weird ideas in my head
    About things to do in Denver when you're dead

    I was working on a steak the other day
    And I saw Waddy in the Rattlesnake Cafe
    Dressed in black, tossing back a shot of rye
    Finding things to do in Denver when you die

    You won't need a cab to find a priest
    Maybe you should find a place to stay
    Some place where they never change the sheets
    And you just roll around Denver all day

    LeRoy says there's something you should know
    Not everybody has a place to go
    And home is just a place to hang your head
    And dream of things to do in Denver when you're dead

    You won't need a cab to find a priest
    Maybe you should find a place to stay
    Some place where they never change the sheets
    And you just roll around Denver all day
    You just roll around Denver all day

    Thanks to late Great Warren Zevon

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