Raw Notes from the Testimony of Rev. Charles Winston - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Raw Notes from the Testimony of Rev. Charles Winston

These are raw notes transcribed from paper of Tuesday's hearing.  No computers were allowed to be used in the courtroom.  This is NOT an official transcript but is provided to give readers a flavor of what witnesses were saying.

Winston is the husband of attorney Debra Winston and friends with pastor Stephen Hudson of Ozark.  Winston prepared the first set of affidavits under question.

Rev. Charles Winston gives his full name as Charles Ray Winston, Jr.  He says he is a pastor and constable(?) in Hueytown, Alabama.

He says he pastors New Mt. Mariah Missionary Baptist Church in Hueytown and has been a minister for 25 years.

He says he has none of the documents mentioned in his subpoena (Court's Exhibit 8)

Asked if he has ever met Siegelman or Scrushy, Winston says, "Yes sir."

"At separate times,"  Yes sir.

Specifically as to Siegelman and prior to May 1, 2006 when the jury was selected in the government corruption case, Winston says he knew him as governor, "but my daddy probably had a better relationship.  He may know my name but he probably wouldn't know me.  He would know me only because my dad and I have the same name.  My dad is deceased."

As to Scrushy and prior to May 1, 2006 Winston tells Judge Fuller he met Richard Scrushy "within the last two years."  Asked if he had known Scrushy prior to the trial in Birmingham, "I would have known him, but he wouldn't have known me."

Asked if he had attended any "religious services at which he (Scrushy) has spoken?" Winston responds yes.  Asked if Scrushy has spoken at his(Winston's) church in Birmingham  Winston says no.  He also answers no to questions as to whether or not Scrushy has donated money to his church or whether or not anyone associated with Scrushy has donated to the church.

The judge then moves on to ask if Winston knows Alice Stanford.  Winston says yes and that he first became acquainted with her on August 8, 2006.  He responds the same way to questions about Juror #5.

The judge then goes back to Scrushy and asks Winston if he attended the Scrushy trial in Birmingham to which Winston replies, "No."

The judge then wants to know how is it Winston was "directed to this from Jefferson County to Dale County?"

Winston says he has known Rev. Hudson for 25 years and that they are both members of a church conference that meets the last week of July the first week of August.  Winston says at some point during the meeting of the church association Hudson talked to him about a parishioner saying, "he didn't know where to go with it...He was apprehensive about his own situation."  Winston says his wife urged him to visit Ozark in her stead.  "I suggested to him that he would set up a meeting and have them (Alice Stanford and Juror #5) come over."  Winston says it was "more than spiritual, basically to have a conversation."

The judge has Winston reference a calendar at which time Winston tells the judge the conference was from July 31, 2006 to August 4, 2006.

"Had you planned to speak at Rev. Hudson's church in Ozark after that conference?" "No," was Winston's reply.

"Did you go?"  -- "I did not speak with the church, I actually met with the choir."

Winston tells Judge Fuller the purpose of the trip was to discuss Rev. Hudson's legal problems and that he met with Hudson "on behalf of my wife to discuss problems he (Hudson) was having. "

"I thought also originally to talk only to the wife of Juror #5...but Juror #5 came also," says Winston.  Winston says he traveled to Ozark and arrived on August 8, 2006 "in the evening, late in the evening."

Winston says he did not speak to Alice Stanford or Juror #5 before he arrived not even by phone.  He says the meeting was "in the evening, in the pastor's study...Actually when I arrived they were not there.  We talked for a while (he and Rev. Hudson) and waited for them."

Winston says Juror #5 "was stressed out" and had "real hostility" and he thought Juror #5 "might not show, but they came."

Asked again if he had been on a phone call with Alice Stanford, Winston says, "not to my knowledge."

Winston again says that the first time he ever spoke with Juror #5 or Alice Stanford was on August 8, 2006.

"What time of day did you first meet?"  "In the evening after 6 p.m.  Left late because I anticipated even spending the night."

Winston says,"Juror #5 said his wife was having problems, I don't have any problems...so I started to type questions and what I understood the answers to be...After that I asked him to sign it...He basically said, ‘This is not me. It doesn't sound like me.'..."

Winston says he couldn't find a notary "and they were okay with that.  I ultimately gave to my wife."

Winston says his wife, attorney Debra Winston said, "It's flawed."  Winston says, "There's something here that needs to be dealt with, feelings he was going through so the questions led me to ask about what had transpired."  Winston says his wife told him, "(It's) better if you just don't sign it."

Winston says he had told Juror #5, "I don't know where it's going...if it's something you've done, I will get my wife to represent you...My intention was to allow him to say what he needed to say and he wanted the judge to know how he felt...He probably talked that night more than he ever talked."

The judge tells Winston he doesn't want the jury deliberations talked about.

Winston says, "When he (Juror #5) came in it was as if he was forced and I think it was his wife forcing him.  I provided a different venue than Rev. Hudson.  He was agonizing and he was pent up..."

Winston says the conversation with Juror #5 took place "in the pastor's office" and that he typed things up on a "laptop."

The judge asks Winston if he typed all of the language and Winston told the judge yes.  He asked if the words were dictated to him or if what he typed on the affidavit was a summary. "Much more summaries from what I gleaned from what he said," says Winston.  "The other two (affidavits of Rev. Hudson and Alice Stanford) were pretty much what they said."

Winston says he realized there might be more of him in the affidavit then Juror #5 after his wife read the affidavit and told him.  "This is you and not him."

Winston says, "I believe if Mrs. Stanford were reading that she would say that is more for me that of him."

"Did you go with the specific intentions to prepare affidavits?"  Winston says that probably was "through Rev. Hudson."

"After you spoke with him (Hudson), did you do his affidavit first?" 

"I don't even know why I did an affidavit for him."  Winston says it may have been to "make sure I wasn't alone on this."

Winston says no one paid him for preparing the affidavits.  He says he prepared Alice Stanford's affidavit also.  The judge went back to asking if the affidavit was a summary or a statement by Alice Stanford to which Winston replied, "A summary of our discussions."  Winston says Alice Stanford signed the affidavit in his presence.  Asked if he could not find a notary so he took it back to Birmingham, Winston says, "Yes."

The judge moves to Juror #5's affidavit.  "Court's Exhibit #4 is laid out in a question and answer format...and one of several pages, did you prepare this affidavit."

As to the format, Winston says, "because it was for him to talk and  ultimately to ask questions.  My questions were due in part to his ? as said to me as I sat there."

"Did he read it after it was prepared by you?"

"He did read it...he made the statement ‘that ain't me,'" says Winston.  "We actually discussed it.  It's basically what you said and at this point it was...what I understood him to say and that was satisfactory to him."  Winston agreed with the judge that it was his summation of Juror #5's answers.

The judge asked Winston if during the preparation of the affidavits if anyone else was there "during this entire process."  Winston says he believes at one point someone "may have knocked on the door of the study and he told them he was in conference."

Winston says, "I may have called my wife to tell her what I discovered...I didn't' think she had a comment as to what questions and was involved...she never told me what to put in it or directed me."

Winston says he didn't send any copies anywhere before they were signed.

"Did you take anything back with you dealing with these affidavits?"

"The only thing would have been a legal pad on which I wrote some notes...To the best of my knowledge that was destroyed."

"Did you take any proof of identification back with you?"

At this point there is a bit of a long pause.  "I did copy somebody's driver's license.  Not sure, I can't testify to that for a fact."

"If Alice Stanford and Stephen Hudson say no other information was copied and taken back with this would they be wrong?"

"They would probably be correct...My mind says I would have gotten ID from all of them...If two of them say...but I don't recall doing it."

Things now go back to the affidavits themselves.  Winston talks again about his wife.

"She told me because I got them notarized after I got back to Birmingham they were flawed and they sounded more like me."

The judge asked Winston if he got identification from the affiants prior to taking their affidavits.  Winston says,"The pastor introduced them."

Moving to the notary, Judge Fuller asks Winston if he had met Miss Armstrong before.  "Yes," came the reply and Winston also said yes to having known Armstrong prior to August 9, 2006.

"Frequently or infrequently?"

"I passed there every other day and I kind of knew her...There were many occasions...I know her as a notary...I probably sent more people to her than she did (notarize things) for me."

Winston told the judge Armstrong  "probably has not notarized anything at my instruction for about two years...I've never literally taken anyone to her office...she redeemed some property for the city."

Winston say the affidavits were notified in the "morning before 8 O'clock on Aug. 9."

Winston says after they were notarized, a "day or two later...(I) gave them to my wife."  Winston says he did not talke to anyone before August 9, 2006 about the affidavits.

"I didn't even know what I heard or how it would impact anybody," says Winston.

Winston says he did not contact any in any way related to Siegelman or Scrushy about the information he had.  He says he thinks by "that Friday I actually gave them to her (his wife)."

The judge wanted to know specifically if Mr. Winston just showed or gave the documents to his wife.  Winston told the judge, "I gave them to her."

"Did she give them back to you?" No.

"Does she have the originals?" Yes.

Back now to the infamous fax tags.  "You didn't prepare these affidavits with a 251 area code # and another 251 area code #?" No sir.

"Based upon your knowledge, did you have any other conversation with Juror #5 between August 6, 2006 and September 1, 2006?"

"I actually talked to Juror #5 and told him I was going to come back and my wife was going to come with me to do this correctly," says Winston.

The judge wanted to know who all Winston had spoken to and acknowledge, "We've already identified your wife."

Winston says there was one other person - a man name Sam Smith.  "He's actually gone home.  Sam Smith was one of our drug rehab(?) I am chairman of the board of in Birmingham.  Nobody else, I said anything to."

"When was it decided you and your wife needed to meet again with Juror #5?"

"I know she contacted someone else...She contacted attorneys for Siegelman and I think she attempted to contact attorneys for Scrushy."

Winston identified the attorney contacted as David McDonald, and the contact was before the 2nd affidavit.  According to Winston, McDonald traveled to Birmingham and met with his wife before September 1, 2006."

Winston says he believed his wife was never successful in getting with someone from Richard Scrushy's legal team.  At this point the judge started to read off the names of the Scrushy lawyers to see if one rang a bell with Winston.  Winston recalled he believed his wife had tried to contact "I think it was Butts." 

"Mr. Butts never returned a call to your wife?"  "Not to my knowledge."

Winston says the meeting between McDonald and his wife was "very short" - "probably 45 minutes."

The judge takes Winston back to the September 1, 2006 meeting in Ozark.

Winston says going back to Ozark was "probably discussed Aug. 11 whenever she(Debra Winston) saw the first set of documents."  Winston says his wife told him, "I'm going to have to go do it and do it right."

The judge inquired if this was after her meeting with Mr. McDonald and Winston says after.

Winston says besides he and his wife, Rev. Hudson, Juror #5 and Alice Stanford were present.  As to time of day, Winston says "prior to evening."

The judge asks when Court's Exhibit #6 which is the second Juror #5 affidavit was prepared to which Winston replies September 1st.

Winston says no previously prepared copy was brought to the meeting by his wife.

"She pretty much did it the way I did except she typed pretty much what he said."

As to what happened after the affidavit was signed, Winston says "The next day we had a wedding in Georgia...She communicated with Mr. McDonald that she had the second affidavit...I actually remember it being on the way to Georgia."

Winston says his wife faxed the document "from a Staples store...faxed it to Mr. McDonald's office."  Winston says there was a cover sheet.  "Yes, if I remember correctly she gave it a cover sheet. She filled it out really simply."

The judge said, "The fax machine didn't eat it...What happened to the original?"

"I don't think this document is in the file.  On the way here we thought it may have been in Hudson's file..She maintained possession of all of the originals."

The fax was from a Staples store outside Atlanta according to testimony.

Winston says his wife has not had any conversation with Scrushy or Siegelman "before, during, or after Sept. 2."  "The only person she's communicated with is David McDonald...I think he may have e-mailed here when he filed whatever he filed in court.  I think she may have e-mailed to me a copy of the affidavit...She was concerned about what effect it would have."

Winston indicated Juror #5 want "to get this information to the judge."

As to payment to the notary, Winston says as he recalled the person was known to pastor Hudson.  Winston says he indicated to Hudson it was only $20 and Winston would pay it, but "she'd already written the receipt out to him.  It's just $20."

"Did you get a copy of that receipt?"

"I may have let him keep the receipt," says Winston.

The judge has Winston look at Ms. Flentory's receipt of the transaction and Winston says it does look like the receipt.

Asked if he had gained anything personally from his actions, Winston had the following to say, "I've had no thought as to how personally I would gain from it.  I didn't' know what my wife would do with it...I felt Juror #5 would have a problem as a result of it and I would ask my wife to represent him...I knew he had no means...All of us were trying to facilitate."  Winston says he wanted to give Juror #5 "a chance of peace."

At this point the judge again asked the attorneys if there were any other things to take up with the witness.  Mr. Franklin for the government indicated yes they had a question, Siegelman's team had no questions and Mr. Leach said to the judge, "I'm not sure you asked the question we raised previously."  Then Leach got a tap on the shoulder from Fred Helmsing and revised his comment saying, "Counsel's telling me you did ask it."  The judge asks Leach to "refresh my memory, Mr. Leach, it's been a long day." To which Leach replies, "Just if it was accurate."

Judge Fuller then procees to run Mr. Winston through the exhibits.  As to exhibit #2, Rev. Hudson's affidavit Winston says the information is accurate and says the same regarding Alice Stanford's affidavit, exhibit #3.

Things get a little interesting when the judge gets to exhibit #4, the first affidavit of Juror #5.  Judge Fuller reminds Winston that he had indicated that Juror #5 had said "this ain't me" but Juror #5 ended up signing it anyway. The judge asks Winston to point out the "parts he (Juror #5) says are not his..or not accurate."

Winston says the part about deals being made.  "It was not the way he wanted to say it. It's what he said, but not the way he said it."  The next thing was "who brought in Internet information...When I indicated they were pulling information out of a box...not accurate that this was actually something in the box."  Winston says someone did challenge one of the jurors and their knowledge but "he didn't see anybody put it in there."  Winston says he's not sure if there the stuff in the box were court exhibits that should have been there of if they were things brought in from outside the jury room.

Winston says Juror #5 had problems with some of the terminology used saying, "Man, I don't talk like that."

Judge Fuller, "But he agreed to sign it anyway?"  Yes.

The judge asked Winston if the document was accurate to the best of his knowledge and Winston responded in the affirmative.

Judge Fuller then asked Mr. Leach if he was satisfied.  "Yes sir."

The judge next turned to questions concerning travel expenses.

The judge asks Winston if anyone paid "for any of your expenses" to travel to Ozark. 

"No one paid or offered to pay.  I was actually going to see pastor Hudson."  Winston says there wasn't any conversation between David McDonald and Winston's wife about any form of compensation.  "She expected me to pay for it," says Winston.

Winston does now acknowledge some tie to Richard Scrushy since Scrushy's trial in Birmingham.

"I've attended several meetings of Kingdom Builders.  I actually wrote checks and joined.  There were probably 50 pastors there...At both meetings he actually spoke."

The judge asked Winston if Scrushy appeared at any of Winston and Hudson's conferences held the last week of July or first week in August to which Winston replied, "No sir."

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