Jurors announced yesterday that former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner is guilty of manipulating state business for bribes, although they admitted that the apple pies Shoffner kindheartedly delivered to the jury’s deliberation room were “delicious.”
Brian Jaycobs, one of the five men on the jury, said he felt “hungry” when he saw the extensive evidence of Shoffner’s illegal activities.
“Watching that FBI video of her receiving $6,000 and a pie from the bond broker guy only made us want some pie,” Jaycobs said. “Just when we were about to flip a coin to make our decision and then run to a restaurant, Martha popped in with some goodies, allowing us to stick around and do the right thing.”
When asked about Shoffner’s surprise visit, a bailiff posted outside the door of the jury room brushed pie crumbs away from his mustache and insisted he hadn’t seen her.
Shoffner admitted to dropping off the pies and mumbled under her breath that she had run out of a “key ingredient that would have made the pies a lot more persuasive.”
Shoffner’s closing statement at the trial was unrepentant. “Martha Stewart and I have more than just a name in common,” she said. “We’re both moral people who make great food.”
The judge in Shoffner’s case, who was also seen with pie crumbs, must rule on a motion to acquit filed by defense lawyers, who argued that the government didn’t prove key elements of its case, including that the payments affected interstate commerce and that the bonds involved federal funds. The judge told reporters that he is hungry for more deliberation.