Bell corruption trial: Jury has reached verdicts
On the 18th day of deliberations, jurors in the Bell corruption trial have reached a verdict in the case against six former council members accused of misappropriating public funds.
Defendants Luis Artiga, Victor Bello, George Cole, Oscar Hernandez, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal, along with their attorneys, are expected to arrive at the downtown Los Angeles criminal courthouse by 10:45 a.m.
The four-week trial went to the jury Feb. 22 and the panel has spent weeks determining whether the defendants illegally boosted their annual salaries up to $100,000 by drawing pay from serving on boards and authorities that rarely met.
Initially set back by a juror dismissed for misconduct and forced to restart deliberations with an alternate, the panel of seven women and five men have had numerous questions for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy during deliberations and have made several requests for testimony readbacks.
Although many -- including Bell residents who ousted their high-paid officials -- believed the case to be an easy win for the prosecution, experts say the length of the jury deliberations could bode well for the defense.
ALSO:Bell jury handed fate of six former city leaders
-- Corina Knoll
Photo: Former Bell Councilman George Cole tries to get his attorney's attention during opening day of the four-week trial. Other defendants sit nearby. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times