Jury asks for clarification on definition at Graham trial
SAN FRANCISCO -- Just after noon Pacific Time on Wednesday, Judge
Much of Tuesday's closing statements revolved around the issue of materiality, or whether Graham's statements impacted the investigation into performance-enhancing drug distributors. The government contends that Graham lied about obtaining drugs from Heredia, and lied when he said he never met Heredia face to face and hadn't called him since 1997. In the trial, which began last week, the prosecution produced a picture of Graham and Heredia together, and phone records showing more than 100 calls from Graham to Heredia between 1998 and 2000.
For Graham to be found guilty, however, the jury has to find that Graham not only lied, but that his lies were also "material" to the IRS investigation. The definition of a material statement that Illston gave to jurors on Tuesday was one that "could have influenced the [IRS's] decisions or activities."
With the jury not in the room, Illston informed the lawyers for both sides that the jury wanted more clarification. The definition is "crystal clear," said assistant U.S. attorney
Ultimately, Finigan got his wish, which was that the jury simply be re-read the original instructions. After the jury was called in and Illston re-read the definition, she told them "that's the best we can give you."