A Baltimore jury convicted a political consultant of conspiracy but acquitted him May 11 of a wider role in the robocalls scandal of election day 2010.
Julius Henson, a political consultant from East Baltimore, faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for failing to include an authority line in an automated message that encouraged Democrats to stay home on Election Day.
The jury linked Henson, who was working for Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R), to an automated message and calls that went out to voters about two hours before the polls closed. The calls were aimed at Black voters.
But the jury cleared Henson of three of the four other charges, including influencing or attempting to influence a voter’s decision whether to go to the polls through the use of fraud. Conviction on those counts could have meant a 12-year prison term.
According to prosecutors, Henson was paid $112,000 by Ehrlich's campaign and had been promised a $30,000 bonus if Ehrlich defeated Gov. Martin O'Malley, who was the victor.
The jury foreman, Renee Johnson, said the split verdict reflected the jury’s belief in voters’ common sense. "We, as a people, because we live in a democratic society, we have the choice of believing or not to believe. You choose to believe it, it's on you," said Johnson of East Baltimore,
Henson’s attorney said his client will appeal the verdict.