On their eighth day of deliberations, the jurors convicted 11 of the 12 defendants of racketeering, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. Many of the defendants — a mixture of Atlanta public school teachers, testing coordinators and administrators — were also convicted of other charges, such as making false statements, that could add years to their sentences.
Judge Jerry W. Baxter of Fulton County Superior Court ordered most of the educators jailed immediately, and they were led from the courtroom in handcuffs. Judge Baxter, who presided over a trial that began with opening statements more than six months ago.
One female attorney struggled to contain her emotions as she begged the judge to reconsider sending her client to jail.
She reminded the judge that none of the defendants have criminal records. But the judge was not moved. “They have made their bed and they will have to lay in it,” he groused.
Judge Baxter continuously interrupted the lawyers and admonished them for wasting his precious time.
Sentencing was scheduled for April 8, 2015 , and have been moved to Friday April 17, 2015. This adds an additional 9 days to the defendants sentencing process.
Video by WSBTV Atlanta