Thanks for checking out our LIVE minute-by-minute blog of the federal gambling corruption trial being held in Montgomery, Alabama. Currently we're are on verdict watch as the jurors are out for deliberations.
This blog accepts viewer comments, but please understand it is not a chatroom. Viewers can submit questions, and we'll certainly do our best to answer many of them, but due the limited time and manpower inside the courtroom, our bloggers may be unable to answer all questions. You're more than welcome to follow along!
The live coverage will be suspended at the conclusion of each trial day, but viewers will still be able to review the coverage.
Our bloggers include JoBeth Davis, the Community Web Producer for WSFA.COM and Max Reiss, the Raycom News Network Political Reporter. WBRC Fox 6 in Birmingham is dedicating reporter Alan Collins to coverage as well.
For those who are new to coverage of this trial, here's a story that will outline the basics of this case. This story includes background information, the full indictments and trackback information.
Check out trial coverage in the stories below...
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why can't we watch the trial coverage? Answer: Federal law prohibits recording inside a federal trial.
Can I come to the trial? Answer: Yes, the trial is open to the public, but seating is limited and on a first-come basis. Cellphones and cameras are strictly prohibited. You must pass through security and you will not be allowed to enter or leave the courtroom while the judge is sitting.
What is a "BIR"? Answer: A BIR is a Budget Isolation Resolution, a technical vote required in the House and Senate to bring up a bill before a budget bill. One of the points of contention in the trial is that members of the legislature were bribed to vote "Yes" to pass the BIR of SB380, a proposed constitutional amendment to let voters decide whether gambling should be legal in Alabama. (See how each senator voted)
How long will this trial last? Answer: That question is anyone's guess, but most expect it will last at least 2 months.
Why are the defendants being tried together? Answer:Several attempts were made to break the cases, but it was determined each of the 8 defendant's cases was related closely enough that they could be safely tried together. However, they are not all facing the exact same charges and could receive different verdicts. (Click a photo to the right to see what each defendants' charges.
When will there be a verdict? Answer: We don't know when the trial will come to a completion. The jury started deliberations just before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 5.
Is there a schedule for court? Answer: Now that deliberations have started the jury will meet seven days a week. The jury will meet on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Is the jury sequestered? Answer: Yes, during deliberations the jury is sequestered. They are only allowed to deliberate at the courthouse and only when all 12 jurors are present. The four alternates are also being sequestered through the end of the trial. After hours the jury is transported to an unidentified hotel. Their meals and lodging is being provided for. They are not allowed internet access nor can they watch most television channels due to media coverage.
Saturday, June 11 2011 7:04 PM EDT2011-06-11 23:04:18 GMT
Saturday, June 11 2011 7:04 PM EDT2011-06-11 23:04:45 GMT
During a rare Saturday afternoon court hearing at the Federal courthouse in downtown Montgomery, Milton McGregor's attorneys said he wants three people to testify in the gambling corruption trial which involves 9 defendants including lawmakers. Those potential witnesses are former Governor Bob Riley, the former director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety Colonel Chris Murphy and that department's attorney Michael Robinson. Espy says Murphy took 4 helicopter trips to...More >>
During a rare Saturday afternoon court hearing at the Federal courthouse in downtown Montgomery, Milton McGregor's attorneys said he wants three people to testify in the gambling corruption trial whichMore >>
Saturday, August 6 2011 6:34 PM EDT2011-08-06 22:34:10 GMT
Saturday, August 6 2011 10:33 PM EDT2011-08-07 02:33:13 GMT
The jury in the government corruption trial in Montgomery has been dismissed for the day. Around 4:30pm on Saturday, the jury sent a note to the federal judge stating they had a question about something. Around 4:45pm, all counsel was called back into the courtroom by the judge. The jury asked the judge a question about the definition of "unlawful plan" in the charges given to the jury. Before the jury was given the answer to their question, some defense ...More >>
The jury in the government corruption trial in Montgomery has been dismissed for the day. When they resume on Sunday the jury will still be deliberating on count 1 of 37.
Tuesday, June 7 2011 2:54 PM EDT2011-06-07 18:54:51 GMT
Monday, June 13 2011 4:38 PM EDT2011-06-13 20:38:42 GMT
This editorial aired on Tuesday, June 7th. There was an error in the use of the word "blocked" in the 4th paragraph. The correct word should have been "modified". My apologies. Unless you just tuned in and have been under a rock since April of last year, you know that what may turn out to be one of the most significant trials in Alabama history began this week. 9 defendants, including 4 state senators, are accused of bribery, fraud and conspiracy in buyi...More >>
This editorial aired on Tuesday, June 7th. There was an error in the use of the word "blocked" in the 4th paragraph. The correct word should have been "modified". My apologies.More >>
Federal Judge Myron Thompson set a new preliminary date for the retrial of defendants in the Alabama statehouse gambling corruption trial, and the date coincides with the BCS National Championship game.More >>
In his first televised interview after the corruption trial, Sen. Quinton Ross (D – Montgomery) said he felt the entire investigation into the Alabama State House in 2010 was orchestrated in part by theMore >>
Attorneys for Sen. Harri Anne Smith are asking for the judge to consider a January retrial date instead of the tentative October date the court scheduled earlier this week. Defense attorneys and federalMore >>
The Director of Alabama's Ethics Commission says the federal corruption trial that recently concluded in Montgomery will have a far reaching impact. "I don't think that there's any doubt in anyone's mindsMore >>
A federal prosecutor has told the jury in Alabama's gambling corruption trial that the conspiracy started when VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor agreed to provide $5 million to Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley...More >>
Just one day after the defense began presenting its case to a jury in the federal gambling corruption trial in downtown Montgomery, a surprise move. All nine defendants made the decision to rest.More >>
The federal gambling corruption trial will continue in downtown Montgomery. Thursday morning, Judge Myron Thompson declined all motions for acquittal and dismissal of charges against all defendants.More >>
Prosecutors have rested their case against a Macon County casino owner and eight others in a gambling corruption trial. Prosecutor Steve Feaga told U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson "the United StatesMore >>
Testimony concerning phone records at the federal gambling corruption trial in Montgomery shows that two casino operators were keeping in close touch with their lobbyists in the days leading up to a vote in the Alabama...More >>
Country Crossing lobbyist Jennifer Pouncy testified Thursday that she initially denied any wrongdoing when the FBI contacted her the day after the state Senate passed a pro-gambling bill on March 30, 2010. But...More >>
If you thought the investigation was over because people are in court, you were wrong. An attorney has revealed that at least 20 more people are being investigated in the bingo corruption case by the FBI.More >>
The prosecution spent the day playing connect the dots, trying to lay out a clear relationship between Jarrod Massey and a number of the defendants through recorded phone calls, voicemails, text messages, e-mails and bank records.More >>
Judge Myron Thompson Tuesday updated the court on the situation involving a court reporter who had to be replaced Monday because it appeared the man fell asleep. In fact, the reporter passed out due to a "diabetic episode" according to the judge.More >>
Country Crossing owner Ronnie Gilley spent all day on the stand Friday testifying for the prosecution. Gilley was asked to speak on a number of FBI wiretaps from his cell phone, most of which pertained to conversations with Sen. Harri Anne Smith.More >>
A casino developer who pleaded guilty in a vote-buying scheme is describing the underside of Montgomery politics to federal jurors in Alabama's gambling trial. Country Crossing's Ronnie Gilley testifiedMore >>
County Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley says state Sen. Harri Anne Smith and VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor initially opposed his plan for an entertainment development based on electronic bingo in Dothan but they later change their views.More >>
A former legislator who helped with the investigation of Statehouse corruption says he called Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley a crook while taping conversations for the FBI, but he would believe Gilley when he testifies in Alabama's gambling trial.More >>
Attorneys for indicted casino owner Milton McGregor are objecting to a judge's order that blocked McGregor's attempt to subpoena former Gov. Bob Riley to testify in Alabama's gambling corruption trial.More >>
Senator Scott Beason, the first witness in the federal government's gambling corruption trial, is now giving testimony for the fourth day. Democrats are now calling for his resignation, but Republicans are defending him.More >>
The only thing that rivaled the racially-charged "aborigine" statement, and the two weren't even close, was the fact that Sen. Beason used "I can't recall..." 66 times. Here's the wrap on Day 4.More >>
Senator Scott Beason, who wore a wire for the FBI, took the stand Monday. The defense presented a portion of the wiretap evidence to the jury, but there was no clear mention of money for votes...More >>