John Edwards trial: Gray areas abound for jurors


Jurors have the holiday weekend off in the John Edwards trial, and are slated to begin their seventh day of deliberations Tuesday.

On Friday afternoon, the judge abruptly cleared the courtroom, consulted with attorneys, then sent the jury home.

"48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Erin Moriarty, who's also an attorney, told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-hosts Jeff Glor and Rebecca Jarvis she's "not really surprised (deliberations are) taking this long."

Moriarty says she may have detected a sign of a possible "early divide" among the jurors - or it may have been nothing of the sort.

" ... (Friday) what happened was -- at least what we think happened, because all we can really tell is from what the judge said in the open courtroom. But she admonished the jurors. They're only supposed to talk about the case when they're all together, the 12 are together. And apparently, they may have been talking in small groups.

"So, that could be just that they made the mistake or -- then I got this feeling -- is that a sign of an early divide? That maybe a couple people are saying, 'What are you going to do when we can go back in?' We can't tell. We won't be able to tell until next week."

Gray areas in the evidence cover "just about the entire case," Moriarty observed.

"Every piece of evidence you look at, it's contradicted either by testify or other evidence. And that's what this jury is struggling with," Moriarty noted.

Jurors have to decide whether heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who's now 101, and lawyer Fred Baron, who's now deceased, gave money to Edwards intended for his personal use or for him to use for his presidential campaign, Moriarty pointed out.

Edwards is charged with illegally using campaign funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter.

None of the three (Mellon, Baron, Edwards) testified, yet jurors have to decide on the motivation of Mellon and Baron.

Moriarty also used an example of contradictory evidence jurors are dealing with.

One exhibit, "probably the most damaging for Bunny Mellon," Moriarty said, is a letter courtroom observers have dubbed "the haircut letter," which Mellon sent to then top Edwards aide Andrew Young, as Edwards was being criticized for getting $400 haircuts.

The letter says Mellon wants to pay for the haircuts as a way of "helping our friends without government restrictions."

Moriarty says, "That looks really damaging. She's avoiding the law. Except (that) her lawyer testified, 'No, she just liked John Edwards and just really wanted to help him."'

To see Erin Moriarty's discussion with "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-hosts Rebecca Jarvis and Jeff Glor, click on the video in the player above.