Menendez Juror Speaks in Defense of Senator After Being Excused

The Latest: Menendez 'convinced' he'll be exonerated

The Latest: Menendez 'convinced' he'll be exonerated

She continued: "When they said that it was going to be conspiracy, that they planned this, that's to me, I don't see that".

Arroyo-Maultsby, a verification clerk for NJ Transit, said she was steadfast in her opinion that the senator was not guilty and that the friendship between the two men was honest and insisted she would not have changed her mind if she had stayed on the case.

"What I saw in the courtroom was that he was not guilty of all counts; so was Dr. Melgen", Arroyo-Maultsby said.

Arroyo-Maultsby had longstanding vacation plans that Judge William Walls had agreed to honor and was dismissed as the jury ended 16 hours of deliberations this week without reaching a verdict. As a result of the swap, the jury will now have to start deliberations all over again when they come back Monday. The alternate juror has been present through the extent of the trial hearing both sides present their cases and evidence, as well as closing arguments, in the event that the service of said juror would be required.

Arroyo-Maultsby's dismissal and interviews Thursday provide the first insight into the mood inside the jury room.

Menendez is charged with accepting gifts from Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen over several years in exchange for helping Melgen advance his business interests by exerting pressure on government officials.

The government in its 18-count indictment charged Menendez, the senior Democratic senator from New Jersey, with six counts of bribery, three counts of honest services fraud, one count of conspiracy, one count of interstate travel to carry out bribery and one count of making false statements on his congressional financial disclosures to hide the crimes.

She said other jurors also want to vote not guilty on some counts, "but I'm the only one that's held out that he's not guilty on every single charge".

Prosecutors argue that the he acted like Melgen's "personal senator" and that the two men's arrangement began in 2006 and lasted until 2013.

She also said she felt the government was "railroading" Menendez. She spoke from her home in Hillside, Thursday evening. Some of the jurors believe he is guilty and some believe he is innocent, she said.

At the end of the day Thursday, the judge dismissed the jury for the weekend.

"It looks like a hung jury", she added of the deliberations she participated in.

The jury will continue to be comprised of seven women and five men.

Jurors have the day off on Friday for Veterans Day.

Menendez, speaking outside the courthouse, said he has confidence in the replacement juror.

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