The prosecution rested yesterday in the trial of Ben Allen. However, Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith attempted to call Mr. Allen's defense lawyer as a witness but didn't call the whistleblower who reported Mr. Allen's alleged wrongdoing to the stand.
Othor Cain posted this report about yesterday's events in the courtroom on his Facebook page.
Peters, a former board member for Downtown Jackson Partners, just testified that the board approved the transfer of the 1988 truck that's in question. "After several discussions the board approved the truck being transferred in Ben Allen's name because of the high cost of insurance," Peters said.Meanwhile, Jerry Mitchell published this account in the Clarion-Ledger but the story does not report what took place in the courtroom yesterday afternoon. Mr. Mitchell reported:
Judge Kidd denied the prosecution's request to call Matthew Wade Allen as a witness stating that the subpoena wasn't timely nor had any new information surfaced. "The court finds this motion not to be relevant and therefore will quash Matt Allen's appearance as a witness," said Kidd.
Prosecution is asking Judge Kidd to allow them to call Ben Allen's son Matthew Wade Allen to the stand to testify. Prosecution is alleging in count eight of the indictment that DJP engaged in illegal sponsorship in the amount of $5,000 to Portico Magazine.
Matt was featured in the magazine and DJP paid for a sponsorship/ad in the magazine... the prosecution alleges that was an illegal sponsorship/contribution. Matt has been in the courtroom everyday supporting his father. Kidd is considering the motion at this time. (KF note: Defense told court that same magazine published a two-page spread on the D.A. and his art collection.)
The prosecution wanted to call this witness Derrick Garner back today and or enter some evidence that it found conflicted with his testimony yesterday. You may recall that we highlighted the fact that Garner delivered a major blow to the prosecution as he was their witness. During cross examination yesterday, Garner said at least three times that based on his investigation he could not conclude that Allen embezzled any money. Judge Kidd denied the prosecutions request.
Kingfish note: What is interesting is the prosecution did not call Linda Brune to testify as a witness. She is the prime mover of sorts in this entire affair. She is the one who reported the alleged wrongdoing to the State Auditor and District Attorney. She is the one who gave the documents to the authorities and the newspaper. She told Judge Staci O'Neal in Madison County Court just last Friday that she would not participate in any proceedings in that court because she had to testify as a witness in the Ben Allen trial.
The prosecution jumped the shark Thursday, trying to call two of Ben Allen’s lawyers as witnesses.
Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd denied both requests in the embezzlement trial of Allen, executive director of the Downtown Jackson Partners. Allen has insisted on his innocence.
Perhaps District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was thinking back to his own trial, where the state attorney general’s office was permitted to call his lawyer, Jim Waide, as a witness because of a conversation the two had had prior to him representing Smith.
Outside the jury’s presence Thursday, Smith said defense lawyer Merrida Coxwell Jr. of Jackson had admitted in a hearing that what was done “a crime.”
Defense lawyer Charles R. Mullins of Jackson called Smith's request “outlandish.”
When Smith insisted this could be done, Kidd replied, “Never in this court.”
He said court rules didn’t permit such and that such a matter should have been taken up before trial.
Kidd then permitted Smith to share what the evidence would be, if he presented it.
Smith quoted from a transcript of a hearing in which Coxwell said, if this were a crime, it would have been one against a corporation and not an individual.
Smith called Jackson lawyer John Reeves, a former state lawmaker who served on the Partners’ board, as a witness.
“We had to approve a budget every year,” Reeves testified. “We generally trusted Mr. Allen to run the show.”
The board gathered for lunch each quarter, but didn’t generally do business then, he said. “Board members missed more times than they came.” Rest of article.
Why didn't the District Attorney call his star witness? Is he saving her to be used as a surprise rebuttal witness?