The jury is still agonizing over the fate of disgraced ex-state Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. and his son Pedro G. They're accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a nonprofit health network in the Bronx that Espada founded and funneled taxpayer money into before he lost his Senate seat amid a widening corruption scandal. The jury has sent notes to the judge insisting they're deadlocked, informing him that jurors are screaming and cursing at each other. But Espada says there's a simple explanation for the jury's consternation: black magic.
Outside the courtroom yesterday, Espada made some incredibly fascinating and cryptic remarks to reporters. Displaying a crucifix around his neck, the ex-Senator told reporters that he believed "evil spiritual powers" were influencing the jury, but everything would work out because, "We Catholics fight that off with this [the crucifix]." Asked WTF he was on about, Espada revealed that an FBI agent who worked on the case was sitting in the courtroom every day and using her jewelry, clothes, and seating position to wield occult power over the jury.
"We know that the prosecutors are sitting in a certain seating arrangement that I recognize as being a certain ritual," Espada said, according to the Post. Pressed for more, Espada demurred, saying only, "Ask Agent Mendoza. She’ll tell you... She has orchestrated a certain seating arrangement in the juror box." The Agent Mendoza in question FBI agent Skarly Mendoza, who has been sitting at the government table during the trial. "What she wears every day, different jewelry, it's religious in nature," Espada asserted. "I don't want to talk for her."
We tried to get a comment from Mendoza, but she's presumably busy sprinkling fresh goat blood in all four corners of the jury room. And it appears to be working—yesterday they sent a note to Judge Frederic Block, asking "If we find one defendant guilty/not guilty and can’t come to a decision on the other defendant, what happens to the [criminal count]?" The judge told the jury a partial verdict would be accepted, and this seems to suggest they're getting closer to a verdict.
If convicted, Espada (and his son) face up to ten years in prison. But what a waste it would be to lock this buffoon up out of the media spotlight—our only hope is that the judge gets creative and sentences Espada to ten years in a glass cube on the back of a truck driving up and down the streets of New York city for everyone to throw rotten fruit at.