Monday, April 4, 2011

BingoGate: Judge recommends motions to dismiss be DENIED

image This is not the ruling on the wiretap admissibility, so let’s get too excited yet.

In early February, Milton McGregor and Tom Coker both filed motions to dismiss some of the charges against them. Coker wanted Count Ten dismissed, while McGregor wanted both Five and Ten dismissed. Attorneys argued that these charges—related to bribery of public officials—were duplicitous in that they lumped one or more charges of wrongdoing into a single count.

The government, in its response, concurred that the counts were duplicitous and that the proper remedy could be applied during jury instruction. The government also argued that dismissal of the charges was not supported by existing case law and urged the Court to deny the motions.

US Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel sided with the prosecution, and recommended to the District Judge that the counts should stand. District Judges rarely go against such recommendations.

McGregor, Coker and eight other defendants are scheduled to stand trial in June on charges of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering and fraud in an attempt to get legislators’ approval of a bill that would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot legalizing some forms of electronic gaming.

The Court is also expected to rule on defendants’ motion to throw out the wiretaps the prosecution is basing its case on. That’s the big one…

UPDATE: Capel issued a number of recommendations today, as reported by Lance Griffin at the Dothan Eagle.

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