Friday, February 3, 2017

Ben Allen trial update

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.

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.
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:

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.
 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. 

Why didn't the District Attorney call his star witness? Is he saving her to be used as a surprise rebuttal witness? 


Anonymous said...

And the "CIRCUS" goes on!!!!!!

I personally think Allen is guilty, but I would almost bet the farm that he will walk!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There certainly is no clear evidence to convict, but if he is convicted (remember we are in Jacktown) it will obviously be overturned on appeal.

Anonymous said...

The judge should bring a quick end to this trumped up show trial and throw it all out as a matter of law for lack of a crime to prosecute.

Kingfish said...

Judge Kidd is a weak judge and a political judge at that. He will do nothing that will bring any heat on him from his voters. That was true in open-carry cases and school takeovers and will be true here. He will give Mr. Allen a fair trial and make the appropriate ruling on objections, motions, etc but when it comes to motions for dismissal or directed verdicts, forget it unless there is a glaring procedural or technical defect.

El Presidente said...

Sure hope that Kaze has the Jackson Progressives rallying in Ben's corner!

Anonymous said...

Why is this trial of such keen interest to Jackson's black community?

Anonymous said...

Excuse me Kingfish, it is Othor Cain The People's Reporter.

Please get it right going forward.

Anonymous said...

There are very few circuit court judges that will take a criminal case away from the jury. That doesn't make them a "weak" judge. I base this on over countless trials as a prosecutor and defense attorney over a period of 35 years. Kidd has let cases go to the jury, resulting in conviction, and only then set aside the guilty verdict for insufficient evidence. That is a common practice of many, many judges.

I predict a compromise set of verdicts, not guilty on some, guilty on a few. Smith only needs one...

Anonymous said...

Defense will state that JDP is like a private non profit HOA and that is a good try but just not true. Got to look that law is created under that makes it a taxing authority. Still Ben will get off. Just not time stealing.

Benny Dickshun said...

"...when it comes to motions for dismissal or directed verdicts, forget it unless there is a glaring procedural or technical defect."

Ah, Hello! Isn't that the way it SHOULD be?

Anonymous said...

Ben is guilty of trusting and feeling sorry for Brune.

Anonymous said...

Ben guilty

Anonymous said...

Smith didn't call Brune because on cross examination she may civilly and criminally incriminate herself. Her case can be re-presented to the grand jury if new evidence is discovered. This new evidence could be discovered in the form of her trial testimony.

Anonymous said...

Agree 1:47. She would be crazy to testify. It can't help her but can hurt her. The charges against her could be raised again and even bolstered by her own testimony. Or she would have to plead the 5th while she testified, which then hurts the DA's case against Allen. The DA has convinced Ms Brune that he's her friend and protecting her, only because she's supposedly his star witness, but the reality is he doesn't care about her and would let her hang herself with her testimony. If she doesn't have one already, she needs her own personal attorney advising her, not the DA, a DA who has repeatedly proven himself to not be so bright.

Anonymous said...

Brune knows where all the bodies are buried.

Anonymous said...

2:54, if she does, that means she's been an accomplice/accessory both before and after the fact.

Anonymous said...

4:09 - Why would you say that? Put Allen's son on the stand and rattle his ass. He's been speaking on behalf of Daddy for ten or more years on a variety of blogs, most notably the old Clarion Ledger daily blogs.

Anonymous said...

Better yet, just throw Ben and jail and forget about him.

Anonymous said...

"Ben is guilty of trusting and feeling sorry for Brune." What a bunch of bullshit. He trusted her alright. He trusted that she would not roll over on his crooked ass.

Anonymous said...

3:51 AND 5:50. LB. Give. It. Up. You will have plenty of time to discuss your opinions...under oath. And after the criminal charges are reintroduced in TWO counties. No I am not Ben, but you are in deep shit.

Anonymous said...

Don't know about 5:50 but I am 3:51. They can't even get Ben or his son under oath. How in the hell do you think they will get anyone else under oath? Get you lips back on Ben's ass before it gets cold.

Anonymous said...

8:05 has not recognized yet that she will be in prison the rest of her life. Has nothing to do with Ben or his son Matt. Really sad for the old woman.

Dane Kitto said...

Looks like Shuler Smith will have a lot of egg on his face to go with those strange eyebrows.

Anonymous said...

In prison for the rest of her life with a no-bill? Please let us know when you will pull your head out of your ass so we can assemble and watch. I ain't never saw a man pull his head out of his ass afore.

Anonymous said...

4:02. A person can not be tried again if that person is acquitted in a trial. A grand jury can darn sure re-open a "no bill" from an earlier presentation, particularly if new evidence is submitted. The attorney general of the state can indict as well, and with the rift between Smith and Hood/Alexander, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they take a hard look and move with it. She would then subpoena Smith as would the AG and then the blood bath would begin.

You can't make this stuff up. If I were she, I would be getting a really good attorney.

Anonymous said...

Agree 9:06. Sad. Really sad. Brune is so done/toast and doesn't seem to grasp it. Shaking head here.

Unknown said...

Hey, I'm not a lawyer but my reading of many articles and primers on taxes leads me to believe that yes, there is a difference between taxes and assessment, which backs Judge Gibbs assertion. However, it must be noted that the ASSESSMENTS are made to calculate the TAX For example, your Residential Property Tax Amount is determined by multiplying the assessed (ment) appraised value of your property, multiplied by the tax rate = your Assessed Residential Property Tax AMOUNT. Similarly, your Business Improvement District (BID) Property Tax AMOUNT is based upon the assessed (ment) square footage of your property multiplied by the tax rate = your Assessed BID Property Tax Amount. Both Smith and Gibbs are correct; however, the key concept is that the assessment determines the tax. So in my opinion, Smith, the Hinds County Tax Collector and the Assistant Attorney are correct and Gibbs (DJP) is not correct. I wonder if the Judge will step forward and instruct the jury that, as a matter of law, the DJP revenues, as delivered by the COJ are taxes and therefor "public" funds.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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