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Edwards jury breaks for weekend after report of alternate juror flirting with defendant

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Friday, May 25, 2012: Former U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards leaves a federal court during a break during the sixth day of jury deliberations. (AP)

The sixth day of jury deliberations in the John Edwards trial ended Friday with the judge dealing with an issue concerning the jurors.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Eagles told the jurors to return Tuesday morning, after the long holiday weekend, when the Eagles will resume a discussion with the attorneys about "a matter with the jury"

Eagles did not indicate what the problem was after meeting with prosecutors and defense lawyers for about 35 minutes, but when she reopened the courtroom, she admonished the jury.

"All of your deliberations should take place while you are in the jury room and together," Eagles said. "Don't discuss the case in small groups."

There was speculation that the matter stemmed from an exchanges of glances between an alternate juror and Edwards. ABC News reported that a female alternate juror appeared to be flirting with Edwards, smiling at and making eye contact with the former senator and failed presidential candidate. But not all reporters covering the trial characterized the behavior that way.

Another possibility is that the jury issue is a scheduling problem with the jury foreman, which if big enough could result in his removal. That would mean deliberations would start from the beginning because alternate jurors have not been included in the process.

Prosecutors say Edwards spearheaded a plan to use money from two wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Edwards is charged with six felony counts related to illegal campaign contributions.

The jury's behavior drew attention Thursday when the four alternates all wore canary-yellow shirts. On Friday, they all wore bright red shirts, as did two of the 12 jurors deliberating the case.

Fox News' Douglas McKelway and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Doug McKelway joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in November 2010 and serves as a Washington-based correspondent. Click here for more information on Doug McKelway