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Source: John Edwards has life-threatening heart condition

Bill Mears and Michael Martinez CNN 01/14/2012 19:27
Source: John Edwards has life-threatening heart condition - politics - USA - law - crime - John Edwards

A federal judge disclosed Friday that former presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition, a court source confirmed to CNN.

Edwards had sought a delay in his criminal corruption trial, scheduled to begin this month.

Attorneys and the federal judge met in a North Carolina courtroom Friday afternoon for a status hearing regarding the pending trial of Edwards, a former U.S. senator.

Edwards appeared at Friday's hearing. His lawyers had made the motion for a delay under seal, but some of its details were publicly revealed by the judge in the open hearing.

The criminal trial has been delayed until at least March 26, according to the court source. Judge Catherine Eagles said she has been in contact with Edwards' cardiologist, who recommended a postponement, saying Edwards is scheduled to undergo surgery next month.

Edwards has to provide the court with a written medical update by February 28, according to court records.

One legal expert, Marcellus McRae, a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, said he doubted that Edwards' illness would influence a jury verdict.