Democratic Vote Buyers May Get Pass
Belleville lawyer Bruce Cook, who represents Charlie Powell, one of five defendants, commented to another defense lawyer after court had been recessed for lunch: “It’s quite obvious that Mr. Carr, the prosecuting attorney, is trying to bait the judge into declaring a mistrial.”
Cook said that would give prosecutors a chance to repair their case, which has been marked by flawed witness testimony, and file new charges…
…Murphy and Carr had mildly clashed before over Carr’s concerns that the judge had previously made improper statements while the jury was present.
During a motion hearing at 7:30 a.m. Friday before the trial began, Murphy told Carr, “I think it’s pretty clear that we just don’t get along.”
Carr stated that he thought they got along quite well, but accused Murphy of making past improper comments to the jury.
About two weeks ago after Carr complained, Murphy told the jury that he was wrong to have commented about the Nov. 2 East St. Louis election while jurors were present…
…Four politicians besides Powell, the East St. Louis Democratic boss, are accused of crimes connected to the Nov. 2 general election. Powell is accused of one count of conspiring to commit vote fraud.
The others are charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting vote fraud.
Despite hours of testimony during the past two weeks, no prosecution witness had testified to an actual vote payoff until Friday afternoon, day 11 of the trial.
* Prosecution witness Kessy Stewart said she voted in November and was later handed an envelope containing $7. *
She said the envelope was given to her by an associate of Powell’s, but also testified she never saw Powell on election day.
Earlier testimony from Democratic Precinct Committeeman Lillie Nichols that Powell talked of a need to pay voters was defused under intense cross examination by Powell’s lawyer, Cook, and attorney Paul Sims of St. Louis, who represents Committeeman Sheila Thomas.
Nichols, who had pleaded guilty to paying voters, finally testified that she didn’t know but had “assumed” Powell was talking about buying votes when he told committeemen during an October political meeting to fill out budgets and ask for $5 for every person who had voted in their precinct in the previous election.
** The money would come from the county Democratic Central Committee. **
Previous posts on the Democratic Voter Fraud Trial in East St. Louis:
East St. Louis makes Voter Fraud a Business
$5 for Non-Racists; Racists are $10
ESL Prosecution Witness Falters
Damning Tapes in East St. Louis Voter Fraud Trial
Witness Grilled at ESL Vote Fraud Trial
How to Buy Votes at ESL Vote Fraud Trial
“Showing Appreciation” at ESL Voter Fraud Trial
Update: A posting at liberal uggabugga blog “Judge G. Patrick Murphy… Why Judges Matter”
U.S. District Chief Judge G. Patrick Murphy said Wednesday he won’t use federal sentencing guidelines because they are unconstitutional.
Murphy barred the guidelines during the trial of Greg “Baby Greg” Murray of Granite City. He is scheduled to go to trial next week on a federal charge of using a handgun during a drug trafficking crime in connection with a homicide.
The chief federal judge for southern Illinois wants the government to pick another town for a new $70 million courthouse because he said Benton is too white.
On the evening of May 29, 2003, Hayden was smoking crack with three other folks at a trailer park home on Chain of Rocks Road in Granite City, Illinois. Murphy, Sr., who had sold drugs to Hayden several years earlier, showed up later that night. He was friendly at first, but he soon called Hayden a “snitch bitch ho”1 and hit her in the head with the back of his hand….
1 The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch “hoe.” A “hoe,” of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden’s response. We have taken the liberty of changing “hoe” to “ho,” a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps “You doin’ ho activities with ho tendencies.”
Update: (Monday PM) Judge Murphy’s trial lawyer wife held an office in a noted office building in Belleville, where Democratic Party decisions are made, until March when the judge was given the voter fraud case (from the St. Louis Post Dispatch):
And one of those law offices, Sprague and Urban, serves as the command center where key political decisions are made. Lawyer Robert Sprague is the longtime head of the St. Clair County Democrats and Belleville’s city attorney. It’s in his office that Sprague holds court, and no political decisions of substance are made until he signs off.
In that same small building, owned by Kern, the wife of the judge in the vote fraud case leased office space as a home for her law offices. She moved out in March, the same month that the indictments were handed up.
y, 56, says that although he is a Democrat, he does not belong to the inner sanctum (of Belleville politics) because he lives in Marion, three counties away in Southern Illinois.