Monday, February 14, 2011

BingoGate: Sources: Geddie will not plead

image The prosecution has failed to persuade BingoGate defendant Robert Geddie to accept a deal for his testimony, according to two independent sources with knowledge of the discussions. It is not known whether a formal offer was made to Geddie, but it is widely believed that the prosecution was keenly interested in getting Geddie or co-defendant Tom Coker to strike a deal.

The two “big fish” in this case are casino owner and political powerbroker Milton McGregor and fellow casino owner Ronald Gilley.  Legal analysts are convinced that Gilley’s defense took a crushing blow when Jarrod Massey decided to cooperate with the government and testify against the Country Crossings owner and developer. Rolling up the other side of the two-sided conspiracy with a deal from Geddie—or Coker—would likely have delivered a similarly damaging blow to McGregor.

As another indication that Geddie will not cooperate with prosecutors in a deal to convict McGregor, Geddie has filed a motion to either sever his case from the other defendants, or in the alternative, join his trial with that of his client, Milton McGregor. If he was considering a plea deal, he wouldn’t be interested in going to trial joined at the hip with the man he could send to federal prison.

It should be noted that Geddie’s lack of cooperation in US vs McGregor et al does not preclude cooperation with prosecutors in any other matters currently under investigation. As is their policy, the FBI will neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations (unless it’s in their interests to do so).

In other news regarding the case, both Geddie and Coker have filed motions to strike surplusage from the indictment. In plain English, “surplusage” is a term that refers to useless, nonsensical or prejudicial language in a legal document. In this case, the term they are objecting to is “pro-gambling legislation” in reference to the Sweet Home Alabama Act (SB 380). The defendants argue that the indictment’s characterization of the legislation as “pro-gambling” is both inaccurate and prejudicial, and could result in problems seating an impartial jury.

It will be interesting to see the prosecution’s response.

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