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Jurors to Get Cellini Case Wednesday

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Jurors to Get Cellini Case Wednesday
Jack Higgins

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Wednesday morning a shakedown case against clout-heavy millionaire William Cellini.

The prosecution and the defense on Tuesday addressed jurors for a total of nearly six hours in a federal courtroom in Chicago.

Prosecutors reiterated that Cellini wasn't an "accidental extortionist." He knowingly and willingly tried to get campaign cash from a Hollywood producer, they said.

Cellini's defense said he was only acting as a friend, and called the government's star witness a "whack job."

Judge James Zagel didn't read instructions to jurors after the closings wrapped up in the evening. That's typically the last business before jurors withdraw to begin discussing a verdict.

Jurors will have to determine whether or not prosecutors proved Cellini conspired with three other men to shake down the producer of "Million Dollar Baby " for a $1.5 million campaign contribution to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

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