A federal judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the high-profile bribery case of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, after jurors twice reported they were hopelessly deadlocked.

“There’s no alternative to declaring a mistrial,” U.S. District Court Judge William Walls said Thursday afternoon.

The decision came after jurors said they could not reach a verdict. It was the second time this week the 12-member panel told Walls they could not come to a unanimous decision.

“I think we have a for-real hung jury,” Menendez attorney Abbe Lowell said before the judge issued his decision.

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