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Mistrial Declared In Federal Bribery Trial Of Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A mistrial has been declared in Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson's federal bribery case. The jury remained deadlocked Tuesday after four days of deliberations and could not reach a verdict.

All Tuesday the jury had been asking both sides to see different exhibits. During the trial, the prosecution alone presented over 300 exhibits.

The jury had come back to the judge twice telling him they are having issues reaching a verdict.

On Tuesday morning, the judge gave them a so-called Allen charge, encouraging them to keep working.

The jury heard testimony for over three weeks.

Prosecutors allege Johnson accepted bribes disguised through a consulting contract with his wife, Dawn Chavous. The contract was with developer Universal Companies.

The nonprofit was trying to redevelop the Royal Theater on South Street. Chavous was paid $67,000, but prosecutors say it was a veiled bribe to secure Johnson's vote to rezone the property.

CBS3 spoke with Johnson and his lawyer, Patrick Egan, leaving court.

"First and foremost, I just want to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and I want to thank my family, friends and supporters for just praying for us and showing us support during this very stressful time," Johnson said.

While prosecutors say the government is committed to re-trying the case, they remained tight-lipped leaving the courthouse.

Johnson's attorneys say it all boils down to a lack of evidence.

"The issue, in this case, is that there is no evidence, in our view. Fortunately, some of the jurors obviously saw that that way as well. We believe that that won't change because there is evidence because my client did nothing wrong," Egan said.

"Hopefully, at the end of the day reason and justice will prevail and this case will go away, as it should, without any convictions for either my client or his spouse," Egan said.

"This has been a long journey for them for the six years and we hope it is at the end," attorney Barry Gross said.

As for what's next, Johnson's team says they plan to speak with prosecutors to avoid a retrial.

Johnson said he's going back to work immediately.

CBS3's Howard Monroe and Kerri Corrado contributed to this report.

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