Judge William Walls instructed deadlocked jurors to continue deliberating Tuesday morning in the corruption case against Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey.
"This is a serious matter," he told the jury. "This is not reality TV. This is real life."
Menendez and his friend, ophthalmologist Dr. Salomen Melgen, face a combined 18 counts of bribery and other corruption charges. Prosecutors allege that Menendez used his office to help Melgen's business interests. Both men maintain their innocence.
In a note passed to Walls Monday, the jury, comprised of five women and seven men, indicated that it had reached a deadlock. The jury had been deliberating for three hours, with the addition of a new alternate to replace a juror who had to leave for vacation. The rest of the jury deliberated for approximately 16 hours last week.
Walls let the jury leave an hour early Monday to "get some sleep" and to "eat a good meal" so they could return refreshed Tuesday.
When jurors returned Tuesday, Walls read to them from a model jury instruction, adding his own embellishments. He challenged jurors to "re-examine" their own opinions about the case and to "take as much time" as they needed to deliberate.
"It is your duty as jurors to consult with one another," he said.
Walls offered jurors one tip in their deliberations -- a question that they could ask each other as they discussed the case in the jury room.
"I want you to ask each other one thing: Why?" he said.
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