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riddleSEOOn their fifth day of deliberations, jurors departed the federal courthouse about 4 p.m. Tuesday without a decision in the case against Sam Riddle, who was the top aide to Monica Conyers at the Detroit City Council.

Jurors had been on a four-day break before returning to the chambers of U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and took a lunch break at 12:30 p.m.

News media inside the federal courthouse could hear sounds coming from the jury room. They included Sam Riddle’s voice, suggesting the jury was listening to tapes of federal wiretaps of Riddle’s phone conversations.

Riddle is charged with seven crimes. The government said he worked with Conyers to extort bribes from people when she was a member of the Detroit City Council.

Conyers accepted a plea deal last year and admitted to accepting bribe money for her vote on the controversial Synagro sludge contract in 2007. The charges against Riddle also include that deal.

Riddle, who is 63, is facing up to 20 years in prison.

As he left court Tuesday afternoon had a simple comment on the jury deliberations.

“It’s the American system of justice at work. It’s a great thing. It’s a thing of beauty. What can you say,” Riddle said.

The judge said the jury is having trouble with a unanimous verdict. The panel last met for only a few hours Thursday.

On his Twitter account, Riddle suggests one juror may be in his corner. He said, “The power of one is mighty indeed!”

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