Jurors Deliberate Fate Of Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner

Mar 11, 2014

Jurors have opened deliberations at the bribery and extortion trial of a former Arkansas treasurer.

Defense lawyers say they didn't need anyone to testify on Martha Shoffner's behalf, so the judge gave the case to jurors after closing arguments Tuesday afternoon.

Federal prosecutors told the panel the case was simple: Shoffner took $36,000 from a bond dealer and steered an extra share of state business his way.

Her lawyers said the government never proved its case and that, if anything improper happened, it was a matter for the state Ethics Commission.

They asked the judge to clear Shoffner, but the judge is withholding judgment until after deliberations.

Shoffner also faces a separate trial on allegations she misspent money from a campaign account, but her attorneys are seeking a delay.