The jury will resume deliberations tomorrow morning in the federal corruption trial against former state Sen. Jon Woods after breaking for the day shortly before 5 p.m. (a juror had to leave for personal reasons), Doug Thompson at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. The jury began deliberations yesterday at 4 p.m. and reconvened at 8:30 this morning; they’ll be back at 8:30 tomorrow.
Woods stands accused of participating in an alleged kickback scheme in exchange for guiding state money to a small Christian college in Springdale, Ecclesia College, and to a nonprofit under the umbrella of Preferred Family Healthcare, a major provider of Medicaid-funded services in the state. Former state Rep. Micah Neal pleaded guilty to being a co-conspirator in both schemes before the trial started and cooperated with the government. Oren Paris III, president of the college, pleaded guilty to being a co-conspirator in the Ecclesia scheme less than a week before the trial and also began cooperating with the government.
Also on trial is consultant Randell Shelton Jr., accused of participating in the Ecclesia scheme.