Judge sets corruption retrial deadlines

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Judge Myron Thompson set deadlines for all attorneys in the federal corruption trial leading up to the retrial in January.

They included deadlines to submit certain motions as well as to submit evidence and exhibits.

Susan James, who represents former Country Crossing spokesman Jay Walker, says she believes the defense is in the catbird seat going in to the second proceeding. She argues that since defense attorneys never put on a complete defense for the jury, that they never showed their hand to the jury.

"I think that if we were underestimated it was probably underestimating how we would connect with the jury" James said.

The jury in the trial that lasted ten weeks that ended August 11 yielded 91 not guilty verdicts in addition to more than 30 undecided counts. The court ruled those mistrials and are the basis for the January 9 retrial.

Victoryland owner Milton McGregor is one of the seven remaining defendants along with one current state lawmaker, two former state lawmakers, a lobbyist, a legislative bill writer and Walker.

James says the use of prior testimony from the two witnesses cooperating with the government, former lobbyist Jarrod Massey and Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley, will be crucial during cross-examination. She says if either of them backtrack on something they said during the first trial, that could be difficult to recover from in the eyes of the jury.

"No matter what they do in terms of trying to correct it, they have to live with what they said before and so then the jury's left with well, what was the accurate information."

Federal prosecutors have previously filed motions to sever the remaining defendants into three trials. The judge has yet to rule on that motion.

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