Edwards trial: Tearful testimony on Elizabeth's final days

Courtroom sketch of Jennifer Palmieri testifying at the John Edwards trial
CBS News

(CBS News) Elizabeth Edwards' close friend, former campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri, cried on the witness stand as she described Elizabeth's fears in her dying days.

"She was concerned, when she died, there would not be a man around who loved her," Palmieri told the jury, her voice cracking.

Palmieri, now deputy communications director for President Obama, also said Elizabeth couldn't believe her husband fathered Rielle Hunter's baby.

The emotional testimony, focused on the former presidential candidate's wife, was a moment that might sway the jury, according to former federal prosecutor Kieran Shanahan.

"It brought Mrs. Edwards into the courtroom in a real personable way," Shanahan said. "Everybody felt the pain that Mrs. Edwards must have felt. And you know what? They looked over at the guy that caused that pain, John Edwards. I think it hurt any credibility or sympathy he could get from the jury."

John Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts of campaign finance violations related to about $1 million in secret payments, much of which was used to cover up the affair with Hunter.

Palmieri also told the jury that John Edwards continued to hope he would be allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention, and might get a post as Attorney General in the Obama administration. She testified that she told him, "You're deluded."

Prosecutors say they will finish their case, without calling Edwards' former mistress as a witness.

"I think they thought she was too much of a wild card," Erin Moriarty told Charlie Rose and Erica Hill. "She helps the prosecution's case but also hurt."

Moriarty has been covering the case for "48 Hours" and said she thinks there is a good argument some of the elements of the six charges against Edwards may not stand.

"I think the defense is going to ask the judge to either throw out the entire case -- which is probably not likely -- but certainly parts of the case," Moriarty said.