Hunter Biden trial: Jury gets case; deliberations to resume on Tuesday

WILMINGTON, Del. — Jurors began deliberations Monday afternoon after hearing closing arguments in the trial of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, who is accused of violating federal gun laws when he bought a firearm while addicted to crack cocaine in 2018.

Update 4:46 p.m. EDT June 10: Jurors left the courthouse and will resume deliberations on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: Biden, who did not testify in his defense, is accused of lying on a federal form about his addiction, making false representations to a firearms dealer and illegally having a Colt Cobra 38 special revolver in his possession for 11 days in October 2018.

He has pleaded not guilty.

In his closing argument Monday, prosecutor Leo Wise told jurors that Biden “knew he used crack” around the time he bought the gun at the center of the case, CNN reported.

“The defendant knew he used crack and was addicted to crack at the relevant time period,” he said. “The evidence was personal; it was ugly and overwhelming.”

He pointed to testimony from Biden’s ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan, who said that she saw him smoking crack in September 2018, weeks before he bought the gun, according to CNN.

“You can consider the defendant’s pattern of use,” Wise said, noting that Biden was also shown to have used drugs in the days after he bought the gun, The Associated Press reported.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Abbe Lowell focused on the term “knowingly,” saying that prosecutors needed to prove that Biden was “conscious and aware” of the law and how he was violating it to be found guilty of charges, according to CNN. He said that when Biden indicated on a federal form that he was not an addict, he was not saying “what he believed to be false.”

He compared the prosecution’s case to a magic trick aimed at getting jurors to focus on the wrong thing, The Washington Post reported.

“They spent hours, literally hours, recounting Hunter’s terrible journey through alcohol and drug abuse,” he said, according to the newspaper. He added, according to the AP, “There was no actual witness to the drug use in this period of time.”

Over the course of the weeklong trial, jurors heard from witnesses including his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle, a former girlfriend and Hallie Biden, who had a relationship with Hunter Biden following the death of her husband, Beau Biden, in 2015.

Hallie Biden testified that she panicked in October 2018 when she found Hunter Biden’s gun in the center console of his car while it was parked beside her home, the Delaware News Journal reported. She said she put the firearm in a gift bag, but moved it to a leather pouch when she realized that the gun was still visible, according to the newspaper. She said she then drove to a grocery store and threw the gun in an outdoor trash can, according to the newspaper.

“I realized it was a stupid idea now, but I was just panicking,” she said.

She testified that she tried later to go back and get the gun, but it was gone. She eventually filed a police report with the help of an employee, the News Journal reported.

The gun was later recovered from a man who said he found it while rummaging for recycling, according to the newspaper.

If convicted of all three charges against him, Hunter Biden could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, USA Today reported.

Hunter Biden is also facing charges in California, where he is accused of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes.

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