The Murder Inc Trial/Day 9: NOT GUILTY! Irv and Chris Lorenzo Acquitted on Money Laundering Rap
Irv and Chris Lorenzo "Gotti" were acquitted of all counts of money laundering in day nine of the Murder Inc. trial today.
"Cynthia, I got my life back!" Irv yelled into his cell phone to Murder Inc accountant Cynthia Brent as he stood outside the courtroom just moments after he was acquitted of all charges.
After nine days of hearings, the Lorenzo brothers were found not guilty of "conducting a financial transaction involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity" and not guilty of "conspiracy to commit money laundering." The verdict was announced by juror number one, a heavily-accented hispanic man who wasted no time reading the jury's unanimous vote to the eagerly waiting courtroom audience.
As the jury foreman announced the verdict, members of the Inc.'s family struggled to hold in their joy. Several women from the family then began crying. The courtroom exploded in applause as soon as the announcements were finished.
"I got a feeling that it's gonna happen sometime after lunch," a court official told SOHH.com in the morning prior to the court room opening its doors. "But on a serious note it could go either way."
Sources told SoHH.com that it was one single unidentified juror who held the twelve member jury captive in deliberation for over sixteen hours. The verdict came at the eleventh hour -- just minutes before 6pm when the judge was to sequester the jury for the weekend. With the courtroom audience resigned and preparing to go home, the judge's deputy announced, "Counsel, we have a verdict."
SOHH.com announced the verdict to Ja Rule as he ran back into the courthouse. "Word... you sure?" he asked slowing. "Yes!" he yelled as he thrust both hands into the air triumphantly.
As they did yesterday, the jury kept asking for documents to examine. As the day progressed, the Lorenzo brothers sat in the court room while Judge Edward Korman went through several hearings, motions and one sentencing in which the defendant, a repeat drug abuser was sentenced to seven months in jail.
At one point, between two hearings, both parties approached the bench and argued over text messages requested by the jury. Right outside the court room, a private investigator working the defense was overheard saying that the jury was loosely asking for "the whole case" because they had also demanded to analyze the checks cut to convicted drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and tax returns among other documents.
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As the jury kept asking for more information, Irv, wearing a grey suit and tie, white shirt and holding a platinum chain as a good luck charm, appeared as worried as he's been throughout the trial. Meanwhile, Chris, wearing a navy blue suit, light pink shirt and light blue tie, stepped in and out of the courtroom.
Around noon, both parties approached the bench to discuss the inclusion of certain text messages. In a confusing exchange, prosecutor Sean Haran objected to the admission of the 30-page document featuring text messages related to the case. Haran seemed to oppose a particular passage that defense attorney Gerald Shargel highlighted. The defense lawyer argued that the text messages were presented as an exhibit and should not have pages taken out. "I don't know why the exhibit is being butchered?" Shargel asked. "This is an absurd argument for no reason."
Approximately 40 minutes after the lunch break, the jury asked whether it was possible to get further guidance regarding the second count, conspiracy to commit money laundering. The jury later asked to read transcripts of Phillip "Dalu" Banks' testimony.
The Lorenzo family thanked and hugged jurors as they all exited the court. Producer 7 Aurelius, Black Child and R&B singer Lloyd were also on hand to show their support.
"The jurors wanted to hug Irv and Chris, and meet their parents," said defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt outside the courthouse. "They felt a connection."