The Association of U S West Retirees



Day ends without verdict 
By Tom McGhee & Andy Vuong, Staff Writers
Denver Post
Friday, April 13, 2007

A jury of eight men and four women deliberated for several hours today without reaching a verdict in the insider trading case of former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio.

The diverse group of jurors was excused shortly after 5 p.m. and will resume deliberations Friday at 8:45 a.m.

During their first day, the jurors sent two sets of questions to the judge.  They asked for a master list of exhibits, which was provided.  The judge denied their request for a demonstrative exhibit used by a prosecutor during closing arguments.

Jurors chose a United Airlines pilot as their foreperson.

The group also includes an engineer, administrative workers and retirees.

Nottingham said he expectes the jurors to deliberate tomorrow despite the
threat of heavy snow.  "I think you should come in tomorrow ready to go," Nottingham said.  "We'll deal with that (snowstorm) when it happens."

The jurors began deliberating the fate of Nacchio, who is charged with 42 counts of insider trading, earlier this morning.  Prior to beginning their deliberations, they spent an hour listening to deliberation instructions read by U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham.

Nottingham told the jurors that they are the sole judges of the evidence presented in the case.

"You resolve all conflicts in the testimony," Nottingham told the 18-member jury, which includes six alternates.

Whatever decision the jury reaches, guilty or not guilty, it must be unanimous or the court could declare a mistrial because of a "hung" jury.

Nottingham again expressed his desire to have the jury deliberate on Friday and said he (would) meet with the jurors to make a decision.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors wrapped up closing arguments Thursday after 14 days of testimony.

Nacchio served as the chief executive officer of Denver-based Qwest from 1997 to 2002.  During that time, he led the company through tremendous growth but also allegedly oversaw a massive accounting fraud that boosted Qwest's revenues by $3 billion from 1999 to 2002.  The company nearly collapsed into bankruptcy toward the end of his tenure.