Stevens Jury Goes Home For Weekend

The jury drama continues in the Ted Stevens trial.

The jury has been sent home for the weekend due to a death in one of the juror's families, and this comes one day after the jury complained about erratic behavior and threats from another juror.

It's not clear how this affects the deliberations, but with the decision on Stevens' legal future stretching into next week, it will be harder to reach a verdict before his election in Alaska Nov. 4.

Judge Emmet Sullivan has scheduled a call 5 p.m. Sunday with the juror to see if they are able to return Monday morning. A hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday night.

Prosecutors had asked for an alternate juror to be brought in so deliberations could continue on Friday, however Sullivan denied the request. There has been no shortage of drama in the jury room, after jurors complained Thursday of "violent outbursts" from one juror.

Stevens is charged with seven counts of failing to disclose more than $250,000 in gifts and services on his Senate financial disclosure forms. His trial has stretched on for more than a month, and Stevens is in the closest race of his 40-year Senate career.

Conventional wisdom has been that if Stevens wins his legal case, he may win re-election. But if the trial stretches past Nov. 4, it's not clear yet how that will affect his political future.

Traditionally, chaos in the jury room tends to benefit the defendant because it means the jury may have trouble reaching a unanimous verdict. Judge Sullivan at this point seems to believe the jury would benefit from a weekend away from the courthouse.