GREENSBORO -- Closing arguments were dramatic and detailed taking well over four hours. Now it will be up to a jury to decide the fate of John Edwards and the six charges brought against him for violating campaign finance laws.
Prosecutor Robert Higdon described the downfall of Edwards when he began his affair with Rielle Hunter during his 2008 presidential campaign. Edwards used his aide Andrew Young to hide his mistress and claim false paternity.
When Hunter threatened to go public, Edwards and Young designed a way to get money to keep her quiet and comfortable. The Youngs thought taking the money was illegal, but Edwards assured them that he checked with his lawyers.
Higdon said everything was a scheme by Edwards to salvage his campaign.
"The government in particular gave a good story overview and they came back with some real good specific things that wrapped John Edwards around their evidence," former federal prosecutor Kieran Shanahan said. "So it was the best they've done to be able to tell the complete picture from their side."
Lead defense attorney Abbe Lowell told the jury that Edwards was a bad husband who will pay for his sins, but there is a difference between a sin and a felony.
Lowell described Young as the mastermind out for money and said he is the one who should be on trial. He said the government has sponsored his lies, which should put reasonable doubt in the jurors minds.
Lowell criticized the government for bringing up the incident in an airplane hangar when Elizabeth Edwards exposed her chest during an argument with her husband.
In the prosecution's rebuttal, they said that testimony was to show that when Edwards left her there, his priorities lied with his campaign and not his family.
Jury deliberations will begin Friday morning.
"Good both ways, maybe slight advantage to the government," Shanahan said.