The Clarion-Ledger, 3/6/9

The jury in the federal trial of Mayor Frank Melton and his former bodyguard was almost evenly divided on the charges of conspiracy and committing a violent crime with a weapon, according to one of the jurors.

But the group came close to convicting the pair of violating federal search and seizure law, said Lashander Johnson, 32, of Magnolia. She also said the jury was closer to convicting former police bodyguard Michael Recio than Melton but was uncertain of the exact vote tally on each count.

“We took a couple of votes to see where we all were, even actually stating why we felt it should be guilty or not guilty,” she said. Still, after days of deliberations, the jury realized it could not break the deadlock.