Female Juror Flirts With John Edwards

John Edwards

Here's a riddle:   What comes in group of four and is the color of French's Mustard?

After a week of deliberations, the four alternate jurors have become the prime distraction for the assembled press corps and spectators in the courtroom.

Today, the judge cleared the court room to discuss what was described as a juror issue.   When court resumed, the judge did not indicate what the problem was.

But on Thursday the alternates - three women and one man - caused something of a stir when they showed up in matching bright yellow shirts, hardly bothering to suppress their snickering as the judge addressed the main panel of jurors. Today they are all wearing red.

For nearly four weeks, 16 jurors heard all the evidence in Edwards' case.    After the closing arguments, Judge Catherine Eagles made the unorthodox decision to extend the service of the four alternate jurors, while the primary panel of 12 deliberated the six felony charges.      So for the last five days of deliberations, the gang of four alternates has been required to show up at court each day, sent to a holding room with instructions to avoid talking about the case.

Anytime the jurors are in the courtroom, the judge calls the alternates down to keep them apprised of the status of deliberations.   And the alternates are also sent to lunch every afternoon with the rest of the jurors.

Since the alternates were identified last Thursday, it has been impossible to ignore the dynamic between Edwards and one of the female alternates, an attractive young woman with jet-black hair, who seems to have been flirting with Edwards for days.

The juror clearly instigated the exchanges. She smiles at him.   He smiles  politely back at her.    She giggles.     He blushes.

The jury returns today to resume deliberations for a sixth day. Edwards is accused of using nearly $1 million in campaign donations to hide his affair with his mistress Rielle Hunter. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison and fined as much as $1.5 million.