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Blagojevich Jury Reaches Verdicts on 18 Counts

The jury considering corruption charges against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has reached verdicts in 18 of the 20 counts against him, a court clerk said Monday.

The jury is expected to return its verdicts Monday afternoon.

Charges against Blagojevich include trying to peddle the U.S. Senate seat held by Barack Obama before he resigned to become president. Blagojevich has denied any intention of bribery.

Last August, after a two-month trial and 14 days of deliberation, jurors deadlocked on 23 of the 24 charges Blagojevich had faced. They found him guilty on one count of lying to FBI investigators, a conviction that could carry a prison sentence of five years.

The accusation that Blagojevich tried to profit as he considered whom to appoint to succeed Obama, among other allegations, prompted his impeachment by Illinois’ House of Representatives and his removal from office by the state Senate in 2009.

Ten of the counts against him in the current trial are wire fraud. The other 10 involve extortion and bribery. Most of the counts have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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