NEW ORLEANS—Former City Councilwoman and State Representative Renee Gill Pratt could learn her fate as early as Wednesday. This is despite the fact that the prosecution filed a motion to suspend deliberations in the case.
Two motions were filed Tuesday in court. Prosecutors asked the judge to issue new jury instructions, arguing the ones he read were legally incorrect. They also asked the judge to suspend jury deliberations altogether. Both of those motions were denied.
That means, deliberations will continue in the racketeering case against Renee Gill Pratt. Gill Pratt is charged with one count of conspiracy under RICO. That's the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" Act. To find Gill Pratt guilty, the jury must unanimously agree she participated in at least 2 acts of racketeering such as money laundering or mail fraud.
Gill Pratt is accused of working with the powerful Jefferson family to steer millions of dollars into sham charities. There's no real dispute the charities were defrauded. The question at hand is whether Gill Pratt knowingly funneled the taxpayer money.
Betty Jefferson and her daughter Angela Coleman already pleaded guilty in the case. Mose Jefferson was excused from the trial for medical reasons. If Gill Pratt is found guilty, she could face 20 years behind bars.