updated 10/26/2008 7:24:16 PM ET 2008-10-26T23:24:16

A federal judge has dismissed one of the jurors from Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' corruption trial.

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U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan dismissed a female juror from the trial because she had not been in contact with the court since Friday. The juror flew to California after the death of her father. Sullivan said the court had not heard from her since she left town.

Deliberations will resume Monday morning with an alternate juror.

Stevens, the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, is charged with lying for years on Senate financial disclosure documents to conceal $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from a friend, millionaire oil contractor Bill Allen.

Stevens was counting on a speedy verdict that will send him back to the state of Alaska vindicated in time for a Nov. 4 vote in a closely watched race for the Senate. He is locked in a tight contest with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat.

Democrats have invested heavily in the race, running television advertisements starring fictional FBI agents and featuring excerpts from wiretaps.

The judge had ordered a recess on Friday, saying he wanted to accommodate the juror whose father died.

The first two days of deliberations have been marked by reports of stress and violent outbursts in the jury room and Sullivan said jurors might benefit from a break.

"Everybody needs a day off now and then," Sullivan told the jury. "I want you to enjoy yourself this weekend."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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