Cellini juror hid felony convictions; Motion for mistrial expected Monday

November 11, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Cellini's attorney Dan Webb told ABC7, "We are asking the court to throw out a portion of the jury verdict." He expects to file the motion on Monday with Judge James Zagel.

Cellini was found guilty on two of four counts in the corruption case on November 1 when a jury concluded Cellini was part of an effort seven years ago to shake down a Hollywood movie producer for a fat campaign contribution that was to go to then Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. The producer cried foul, the shakedown was never completed, and while the jury concluded that Cellini never directly said "give me the money or else," it still found he was part of a conspiracy to commit extortion.

Webb will ask the judge to throw out the two convictions. Because he was found not guilty in the other two counts, he cannot be retried as that would be double jeopardy, Webb said.

The female juror did not disclose her convictions for a drug possession and drunk driving. Webb said because of that failure to disclose, she made false statements to the court; and because the juror is a convicted felon, she is legally ineligible to sit on a jury under federal law, which he said makes Cellini's jury illegal.

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