Day 3 in Ellis trial deliberations: still no verdict

Author: Rebecca Lindstrom, WXIA – 11 Alive News

DECATUR, Ga. — Day three and still no verdict in the Burrell Ellis corruption trial. But they did have a few questions, as they debated the 13 charges against him.

Jurors asked to hear two of the secretly recorded conversations. This time they all seemed to be taking notes and listening for certain words or statements.

Later in the day, jurors also asked for a transcription of the testimony. They did not say which witness they wanted. Regardless, Judge Courtney Johnson told them no, saying they would have to rely on their notes and memory.

During cross examination, Ellis refused to directly answer most of the DA’s questions. Former state and federal prosecutor Zahra Karinshak says that could also be causing debate over his intent.

“In true life, how much true yes or no is there? There’s always more to what was going on and that’s where the jurors use their common sense. Is that something Mr. Ellis could have said yes or no too? Or is there more going on that I need to consider,” said attorney Zahra Karinshak.

Attorney Philip Holloway says it’s not enough to decide Ellis did something wrong, you have to believe he had criminal intent in doing it.

“My sense is the prosecution did a very good job of connecting the dots. The real question is did Mr. Ellis go just up to the line or did he cross the line into criminal behavior?” said Holloway.

Ellis wife and mother were back in the courtroom, as they have been every day. Most of the charges against Ellis come with jail time. He would also likely lose his law license. But if found innocent on all charges, Ellis will be allowed to return to his job as CEO.