Jury selection starts in DeLay corruption trial

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Associated Press

Posted on October 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM

AUSTIN -- Jury selection began today in the Austin trial of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The former Houston-area congressman is facing charges that he illegally funneled corporate money to help Republicans in 2002 Texas legislative races.

Before jury selection began, DeLay smiled and held the hand of his wife Christine as he entered a courthouse in Travis County.

DeLay says he's not worried and he feels great.

Senior Judge Pat Priest said he expected a jury to be chosen by Wednesday. Testimony is set to begin next Monday -- the eve of Election Day.

The 63-year-old DeLay is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted of money laundering, he faces from five years to life in prison. The conspiracy charge carries a prison term of two to 20 years.

Two associates face trial later.

DeLay has chosen for the judge, not the jury, to sentence him if he's convicted.

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