Jasiel Correia jury goes home without verdict after inquiring about extortion charge

SE Mass

BOSTON (WPRI) — Jurors in the trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia will return for a fourth day of deliberations after leaving Thursday without a verdict.

The twelve jurors went home shortly after asking the judge a question about extortion, one of the crimes Correia is facing.

The jury first started deliberating on Tuesday morning, and all had been quiet in federal court until the jury passed a note to the judge around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, asking him about a section of his instructions on the extortion charges about exchanging property for an “official act.”

The jury inquired whether there could be an understanding at the time of the official act that a gift would be received in the future.

Correia is charged with five counts of extortion and five counts of extortion conspiracy, accused of demanding bribes in return for official acts while he was mayor. Assistant U.S Attorney Zachary Hafer speculated — without the jury present — that the question could refer to Count W, where landlord Tony Costa testified that he gave Correia a Rolex watch after he got the city to activate a water line at a building he owns on Kilburn Street.

The judge wrote back to the jury, explaining “the understanding that there would be a quid-pro-quo must’ve been reached before the official act (the quid) that money or property would be obtained (the quo). This is to be distinguished from some gift or gratuity bestowed without that understanding.”

Count W is the second-to-last count in the indictment, though the jury could be deliberating the counts in any order they choose. The jury is expected to return at 9:30 a.m. Friday.

In addition to the extortion charges, Correia also faces one count of bribery, nine counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns.

As we await a verdict, stay with 12 News for continuing coverage of the trial from Boston.

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