What the Stevens Jury is Mulling
As the "stressed out" jury resumes deliberations this morning in the corruption trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a look at the 15 days of testimony shows what the panel of eight women and four men are likely discussing as they decide the Republican lawmaker's fate.
KEY POINTS FOR THE PROSECUTION
The Gifts -- Stevens had trouble answering questions about some of the gifts he allegedly took from oil executive Bill Allen, including a jumbo electric generator, an illuminating fish statue and a massage chair. His response to why the $2,695 chair was still in his Girdwood, Alaska, home? "In our house, we have lots of things in our house that don't belong to us," he said.
Angry and Grumpy Uncle Ted -- During his three days of testimony, the 84-year-old Stevens frequently quarreled with prosecutors, and even his own defense attorneys, as he was questioned about the gifts. "I'm not going to get into a numbers game -- you tell me what year you're asking about," Stevens told lead government prosecutor Brenda K. Morris after she asked him when he found out Allen had provided a new deck for his Alaska "chalet." "My bottom wasn't bare," Stevens fired back, after he was asked if the e-mails he sent regarding bills from contractors were really just "covering your bottom."
Bill Allen -- The government's star witness, the eccentric 71-year-old oil executive, was drinking and fishing buddies with Stevens and told jurors the pair "really liked each other." In recorded phone conversations, they went so far as to say they "loved" each other. But Allen proved to be a damaging witness on the stand. Likewise, a contractor, Augie Paone, testified that he was "shocked" when Allen told him to "eat" Stevens's bill.
The Tapes -- In secretly-recorded phone calls between Stevens and Allen, the Republican senator can be heard claiming he's done nothing wrong while acknowledging that "the worst that can happen to us is we run up a bunch of legal fees, and might lose and we might have to pay a fine, might have to serve some time in jail. I hope to Christ it never gets to that."
See the Keys for the Defense after the jump
KEY POINTS FOR THE DEFENSE
Ted's Character -- Several of Stevens's high-profile friends, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), went to bat for their friend, calling him "totally honest" and "someone whose word you could rely on."
Neighbor Bob -- Stevens's friend and neighbor, Bob Persons, contradicted some of Allen's testimony, calling one alleged conversation over Stevens's home renovation bills untrue and "crazy." Person's testimony helped bolster Stevens's claims that some of what Allen said was an "absolute lie."
Catherine Stevens -- Stevens's lead attorney, Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., told jurors that "when it comes to things around the tepee, the wife controls." He was referring to Stevens's wife, Catherine Stevens, who said she was in charge of the remodeling work done on the senator's home. Catherine Stevens told the jury that she was simply not aware that Allen was footing much of the bill or assigning his own employees to renovate the house from a single-story A-frame to a two-story "chalet" with wraparound porches. She also said her husband was a "workaholic" who was too busy to pay attention to the renovation or its costs.
By Derek Kravitz |
October 23, 2008; 7:23 AM ET
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