Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner was convicted today in a federal court in Boston on charges that he pocketed a $1,000 bribe in his district office in 2007 and later lied about it to federal agents who were interviewing him.
A US District Court jury delivered its verdict this afternoon, just a few hours into its first full day of deliberations, finding Turner guilty of attempted extortion, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, and three counts of providing false statements to FBI agents, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
The verdict came on the 13th day of a dramatic public corruption trial that featured undercover video of the moment the alleged bribe took place and the high-risk testimony and cross-examination of Turner, a long-time community activist and veteran city councilor, who steadfastly maintained his innocence.
A defiant and combative Turner, surrounded by reporters outside the courthouse, said, "I'm not the first person who's innocent who's gonna be sent to jail."
"Life is life," he said. "They made their decision. It's a decision. As I said, I'm an organizer. I was born to be an organizer. If they're going to send me to jail, I'll organize in jail."