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MONTGOMERY — A prosecutor in the State House corruption trial told jurors Tuesday that casino owner Milton McGregor bribed lawmakers to protect his millions in gambling profits, while a trio of state senators were willing to put their votes on the auction block for campaign contributions.
Smith lawyer Jim Parkman brought out courtroom theatrics to ridicule the prosecution’s case. He did a David Letterman-style Top Ten List of the evidence against Smith.
Parkman told jurors that Smith changed her official position on a Wiregrass casino because the project was popular in her district and not because of bribes from Gilley, as prosecutors have alleged.
“She did it for a simple reason. Her voters in her district wanted to vote one way or the other,” Parkman said.
Parkman also pointed out that, at one point in the trial, Gilley corrected his testimony about Smith, saying he remembered other bribes that Smith was involved with and that he had not testified about the previous day. Gilley said he remembered the omissions after court when he was eating a chicken salad sandwich.
Parkman joked that it must be a miracle cure for memory loss. He plopped a chicken salad sandwich on the courtroom podium as he concluded his argument, a parting gift to prosecutors
Former Country Crossing spokesman Jay Walker’s attorney said the case against his client boils down to “eight words” in one phone call taken from more than 12,000 wiretapped calls.
Walker in the call told a casino lobbyist that he offered to do a poll for Preuitt and said, “I said all I need is your vote.”
Defense lawyer Susan James questioned the idea that casino owners would send a stranger such as Walker to make a bribe offer to a skittish state senator he didn’t know.
“As my Granddaddy used to say, in Alabama, that dog won’t hunt.” James told jurors.
Closing arguments resume this morning. McGregor’s defense will make their closing argument, followed by prosecutors’ rebuttal statements.