Jury deliberations to continue Thursday morning

Finch Trial Day Three
Finch Trial Day Three
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -After three days in court, jury deliberations will pick back up Thursday morning in the James Finch trial. Finch is a local business owner facing bribery and conspiracy charges, in the Lynn Haven Corruption Case.

Wednesday afternoon, jurors deliberated for more than an hour before asking for a break for the evening. But not before asking a few questions.

They requested the documents pertaining to former commissioner Antonius Barnes when he testified to the FBI in 2021. Finch is accused of bribing Barnes with around $40,000 to ensure Barnes’s commission vote, allowing Finch to win contract bids.

The defense said this was a loan to start an insurance business, not a bribe.

The defense also said they are discrediting Michael White, the former city manager who testified Tuesday as part of his plea deal.

The jury asked for Tuesday’s transcripts from his and Barnes’s testimony. Barnes also testified as part of his plea deal.

Prosecutors said no matter what way you shake it, the money went to Barnes to influence him, and one check written was cashed out right, rather than going into Barnes’ business account.

Due to the trial being held in Federal Court, cameras are not allowed. Attorneys have declined to comment until a verdict is reached.