Raw Notes from Testimony of Rev. Stephen C. Hudson - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Raw Notes from Testimony of Rev. Stephen C. Hudson

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.

This witness identifies himself as Stephen Carl Hudson of Ozark.  He is pastor of Greater Sardis Missionary Baptist Church.  He says he was pastor of Rehobeth Missionary Baptist Church prior to his current position.

Hudson is asked if he brought any of the court requested documents with him.  "I did not bring any documents.  I could not find one. He says he might have had a copy of exhibit 2 (his affidavit) but could not locate it.

"Do you know Alice Stanford?"  "Yes sir.   Mrs. Stanford is a member of Greater Sardis Missionary Baptist Church...for approximately six years."

"Juror #5?"  "Approximately the same period of time."

"Are you associated in business with either Alice Stanford or Juror #5?"

"No sir."

"Any other relationship?"

"No.  Mrs. Stanford was an administrative assistant for about a year 2003-2004 something like that."

"Do you have any social relationship with Alice Stanford or Juror #5?"

"No more than a lunch or two occasionally."

"Do you know Charles Winston?"  "Yes sir.  Know him as a fellow clergyman.  Known him for 25-30 years."

Hudson indicates to Judge Fuller he and Winston are members of a church conference.  The judge wants to know if they have attended courses together.

"I'm assistant dean of that conference and he is an instructor.  I believe it was 2003 to the present."

"How long an instructor?"

"I inherited him.  I have an elected position and he was already in the classroom."  Hudson says meetings are usually held in Selma "once a year, in the month of July or August."

"Do you set salaries?"

"No, the president of the conference does that.  Foster W? of Birmingham.  Past president was John Hoggs from Lanett, Alabama."

"Does the president select the assistant dean and instructors?"

"They have a committee but he is the final word," says Hudson.

Hudson again says he doesn't set salaries.  "I'm part of the curriculum department."

Hudson acknowledges that Debra Bennett is his attorney in a case in Ozark.  He initially identifies it as a civil case but admits he's accused of forgery and has been indicted by a grand jury and is currently out on bond and awaiting trial.

"At some point in or around the first of May of this year did you become aware Juror #5 was selected as a juror (in this case)...?"

"I did not know he was on the jury," says Hudson.

"Assume the verdict was June 29, 2006.  Did you not become aware Juror #5 was a juror until after that date?"

"After.  After July 4th holidays.  Mrs. Alice Stanford...we shared food from one home to another and a discussion came up about the trial (and) from that point I was surprised to know he was a part of that jury.  Juror #5 was not present."

Hudson says,"At that time we didn't put a lot of emphasis on it.  After that we talked about Juror #5's condition...She's more involved in the church than he is."

"And you met Juror #5?"

"Yes, I did.  It was later sometime in August in the church in my study."

"Before or after August 9, 2006?"

"I met with him before."

"How soon before?" 

"It would probably be a week or few days."

"What was the purpose?"

"He was concerned about a moral decision he had made.  He was concerned about what he had said during the interview process of being a juror.  His verdict....I think he wanted to get out.  I told him it's over, kind of live with it."

At another point Hudson says, "I didn't think he was ? a juror so I inquired about some personal things.  I think he had a doctor  Then he started moving into how the trial went."

"We probably see each other every other day, but regarding this matter once," says Hudson.

"Who did you speak to about Juror #5?"

"I spoke to Mr. Winston, the husband of my attorney to see if he felt there was anything that could be done.  Alice, because there were times he and she were together."

"Anyone else?"  "No."

"What did Rev. Winston tell you?" 

"If I thought Juror #5 was legally in distress maybe we could get him some help so we began to look at it since my case was going on also," replies Hudson.

Questioning turns to Hudson's affidavit.  "Who prepared that affidavit?"

"This is typed off of my computer."

"So is it safe to say you prepared it?"  "Yes."

"Had you prepared an affidavit?"  "No."

"How did you know how to prepare it?" 

"We had other church members (that had affidavits)...If I'm not mistaken Mr. Winston did."

"How did he get the words on the affidavit?"

"We talked."

"At the time you and he had already spoken and the affidavits were prepared you had already been involved in this criminal matter in state court and Rev Winston's wife was representing you?"   "Yes."

"Did you sign court's exhibit #2 (his affidavit)?"   "Yes."

"When did you sign it?"

"May I look at the calendar?"  Judge Fuller says, "You certainly may."

"It may have been on the 8th or 9th.  Well the 9th was on a Wednesday because I was at church."

"Rev. Winston was in Ozark meeting you...and you spoke on August 8, 2006?"

A few things get jumbled up here.  There is talk about the church conference and whether or not things were discussed there concerning Hudson's and Juror #5's situation.

"We did not conclude at the conference to do that," says Hudson.

"He accessed your computer and he prepared what's marked as court's exhibit 2 at this hearing?"   Yes.

"Did you sign in his presence?"  "Yes."   "Who else was present?"   "He and I."

"On that evening we signed the document and then we had a conversation about them talking to ?"

"Before that had he met with him?"  "To the best of my knowledge, no."

"Was there a service on the night, Wednesday, Aug. 8(later to be determined the 9th was on a Wednesday)?  Yes.

"Did he meet with them on that evening?" 

"I don't think he met with them on that evening, no."

"Are you familiar with courts exhibits 3 and 4 (affidavits of Alice Stanford and Juror #5)?"

"I'm not familiar with them."

"Have you seen either of them before today's date?"

"No I haven't."

"Do you know how these affidavits were prepared?"  "No, I don't."

"Do you know who prepared them?"  "No I don't."

"The font and the layout look familiar, the same as court's exhibit 2.  Is it possible Rev. Winston prepared them on your computer as well?"

"The only one I'm familiar with is the one that I signed," says Hudson.

"Were you present when any others were signed?"  "No sir."

"Tell me everything you did after these affidavits were prepared," remarks Judge Fuller.

"After the meeting, I did go into a service downstairs (with Winston).  We left.  Went to Applebees and or one of the restaurants.  In relation to the case that was it."

"In Ozark?"  "Yes."  "You and Rev. Winston?"  "Yes."

"If it turns out Rev. Winston took some part in the preparation of the affidavit of Juror #5 or Alice Stanford on Aug. 9, did you have anything to do with that?"

"I did not have anything to do with that," says Hudson.

Hudson then tells the judge again he could not find his copy of his affidavit and he says he does not know what a fax tag is.

Judge Fuller: "That was not on the affidavit prepared for you to sign?"  Hudson: "I don't think so."

"You only know about page one of one?"

"Where my signature is," replies Hudson.

"You're only familiar with what happened with the one page you signed?"   "That's correct."

"(The affidavit) was brought to her and she notarized it without you being present in Jefferson County, is that correct?"   "That is correct," responds Hudson.

Hudson says he was not contacted by the anyone to verify he was the same Stephen Hudson that signed the document.

"Did you provide her with any identification?"  "I did not."

"What did you give Rev. Winston when he headed back to Ozark (actually Birmingham)?"  "Nothing."

"Other than that affidavit?"  "Nothing."

Some talk in here about the last few days of July and the first few days of August, "after you had met with Alice Stanford and after the verdict in the case had been rendered."

There was also dialogue concerning Hudson conveying to Rev. Winston the concerns of Juror #5.

"How many times before Aug. 8?"

"Maybe two in the course of the week of the Baptist Conference in Selma," says Hudson.  "Might have been a Monday."

"Did you speak any more about the details?"   "No."

"So you spoke with Rev. Winston two, maybe three times about what Juror #5 told you about his service in the case?"  "Yes sir."

Winston then arranged to meet with Hudson in Ozark.

"Did he plan to meet Juror #5?  "I don't think so," says Hudson.

Hudson denies any knowledge as to the preparation of courts exhibits 3 and 4.

"Did you introduce Winston to Juror #5 or Alice Stanford?"

"Yes at my church."

"Prior to Aug. 8?"  "We had a service and he came down and I introduced them."

Hudson indicated he was at the church conference from July 29 to Aug 4.

There seems to be a calendar problem. "One of our calendars is off," says Judge Fuller.  They were trying to determine what day Sunday was on.

"It appears the Sunday before the 8th of August that Rev. Winston came to your church..."

"I introduced them together to Juror #5 stating that this is the person we've been talking about these past few days."  Hudson says the meeting took place in his office and "no one else was present."  Hudson says he then went to lock up the church because the custodian wanted to go "so I secured the building."

"Did Mrs. Stanford seek further legal help to promote healing for her husband?  Did you refer Alice Stanford to an attorney?"

"At that moment I did not," says Hudson.

"Did you ever again talk with Rev. Winston about Juror #5's time as a juror in this case?  "Yes." 

"When did you talk with him?"  "At the same meeting."

"After that Sunday?"   "No, new information, no."

"Have  you spoken to Rev. Winston about any information you received from Juror #5 after that Wednesday meeting?"  "No sir."

"Did you feel your obligations (to Juror #5 had concluded)?"  "Yes."

"Did you contact any other attorney about what you and Juror #5 had talked about?"  

"Yes, my attorney...after all this affidavit situation."

The judge wants to know if Hudson helped in getting the 2nd affidavit of Juror #5 prepared and notarized.

"I am familiar with this one," says Hudson.

"Mrs. Winston came to Greater Sardis and began to ask questions and prepared this statement in my office...on my computer."

"You were present, Rev. and Mrs. Winston and that Alice Stanford was required to go and give a ride to the notary?"   "That is correct," says Hudson.

"Also Juror #5 was present?"  "Yes sir."

"When was the affidavit prepared?"  "On that date I imagine."

"Before or after they met with Juror #5?"  "It was after," responds Hudson.

"After it was prepare was that when Mrs. Flentory was called to the church?"

"That is correct."

"That's all I have," says the Judge.

But that's not all of the questions.

"Did anyone speak with you or to assist you with getting an affidavit after June 29, 2006 other than Rev. Winston (the Aug. 8 affidavit) and other than Sept. 1 visit to Ozark (Mrs. Winston)?"  "No."

"Did anyone assist the Winston's to your knowledge in the preparation of the affidavits."

"No, not to my knowledge," says Hudson.

"Conversations?"  "No I haven't."

"...cooperated in any fashion in assisting Juror #5 or Mrs. Stanford to prepare the affidavits in this case?"  "No I haven't."

Then we get into the usual questions about contact with anyone associated with the U.S. government, Scrushy, or Siegelman to which Hudson responds he has had no contact with anyone associated with those entities.

"Have you consulted with any other attorney or pastor what you and Juror #5 have discussed?"   "No sir."

"Have you met Gov. Siegelman?"  "Not personally."

"Have you met any member of his staff?"  "No sir."

"Have you met Richard Scrushy?"  "No sir."  "Anyone from HealthSouth Corp?"  "No, I haven't."

"What did you believe was going to happen with the affidavit?"

"I thought perhaps Mrs. Winston would review it and take it to a legal situation...I didn't know what would happen.  I knew she was a lawyer and would know what to do," says Hudson.

"Did it surprise you it was rendered in this case?"

"In as much as the verdict had been rendered, I thought it was over," says Hudson.

"It's your specific recollection on the Wednesday night after your service that the only thing the Rev. Winston left the church with is court's exhibit #2 that affidavit?  No copy of your driver's license, no ID at all?"  Hudson responds in the affirmative.

The government indicates it may have some further questions to suggest to the Judge.

"Was Juror #5 a member of your church?"  "He is not"

"You indicated you saw him about every other day?"

Hudson answers, "Everybody in the family is a member of the church except him.  Especially the boys, one's away at college right now.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, not a daily thing.  We are friends...Perhaps I'm looking for Alice, she still has knowledge of things."

"More than once a week?"  "Maybe twice at the most," says Hudson.

"How is it he served on a jury and you didn't see this?" 

"We just don't talk about things like that, it's personal."

Talk turns back to preparation of the affidavit and computers.  Hudson is asked if there is another computer in the office other than his that maybe belongs to the church or some other organization.  He says there is not.

Hudson is asked again if he was told "what Rev. Winston was going to do with the affidavit."

"No, I just assumed he was going to pass it on to his wife."

"Did Rev. Winston ever mention he had any friendship or relationship with any other attorneys in this case?"  "No."

"Do you know if he knows Siegelman or Scrushy?"

"I do not," responds Hudson.

Hudson says he nor his church nor any member of his family has received any compensation for anything related to the affidavit.

"Is Mrs. Winston charging you?"  "Yes she is."

"Are you paying these fees?"  "Yes I am."

"Look at court's exhibit 2.  Do you recall this exhibit?"  "Yes I do."

"You did not sit there and dictate out the language of this affidavit?"  "That is true." 

"Is the content of this affidavit accurate?"  "Yes it is."

"Anything you want to change?"  "No"

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