CHICAGO - After more than a week of silence, jurors in the corruption trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich threw the courtroom into confusion Wednesday when they sent a note to the judge suggesting they may be deadlocked on at least some counts.
In their 11th day of deliberations, the jurors told Judge James B. Zagel that they had made "a reasonable attempt" to reach a unanimous decision, but asked for guidance if they can't reach a unanimous decision on any given count.
Judge Zagel, who read their note aloud in court, said he would send a reply asking jurors to be clearer about what they meant so that he could advise them.
He said he would tell them it was OK to agree on some counts but not others.
Michael Ettinger, the attorney for Rod Blagojevich's brother, co-defendant Robert Blagojevich, said neither the judge nor attorneys in court understood exactly what the note was saying.
Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam, Sr., said he couldn't comment because Judge Zagel told attorneys not to discuss the case. The former governor, who had been summoned to court to hear the note read, left the courthouse without commenting.
Mr. Blagojevich, 53, has pleaded not guilty to 24 counts, including charges of trying to sell or trade an appointment to President Obama's vacated Senate seat for a Cabinet post, private job, or campaign cash. If convicted, he could face up to $6 million in fines and a sentence of 415 years in prison, though he is sure to get much less time under federal guidelines.
His brother, Nashville businessman Robert Blagojevich, 54, has also pleaded not guilty to taking part in that alleged scheme.