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Judge In Price Trial Says She Could 'Modify Verdict'

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn considered dropping some of the charges against John Wiley Price the day before closing arguments.

In the end, she did not drop any charges, but she made it clear she has some concerns.

"It's virtually impossible,as far as I can tell, that the jury could find a violation of counts two through seven," Judge Lynn told attorneys during a hearing without jurors present.

Judge Lynn challenged the "wording" of some charges against Price.

"The chances are 99.9 percent that if the jury returns a verdict of guilty on two to seven, the court is going to enter a judgment notwithstanding, virtually immediately," she said.  

The charges in question are mail fraud allegations.

Price is accused of receiving illegal payments from political lobbyist Kathy Nealy over a ten-year period.  

Federal prosecutors allege Price sold his influence on county government contracts and other matters, in return for cash, cars and real estate.  

CBS11's Steve Pickett was in the courtroom Monday afternoon.  He tweeted about what was happening.

Earlier this month, the federal judge refused to declare a mistrial in the John Wiley Price bribery case, but ordered the recall of two star FBI witnesses because of prosecutors' mistakes.

Although she denied a request by the defense to simply strike earlier testimony by former FBI Agent Don Sherman and FBI analyst David Garcia, Judge Lynn lashed out at prosecutors for not adequately sharing the two agents' roles in the massive investigation.

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