Bingo trial: No guilty verdicts

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

After weeks of testimony, nearly 40 hours of deliberations and an untold amount of legal fees, no guilty verdicts were announced Thursday in a bingo trial that ensnared gaming executives, lobbyists and lawmakers.

The jury deadlocked on a number of charges related to seven of the defendants; two, lobbyist Bob Geddie and state Sen. Quinton Ross, were cleared on all charges.

Others — including Milton McGregor, Ray Crosby, Tom Coker and lawmakers Harri Anne Smith, Jim Preuitt and Larry Means — were acquitted on some charges.

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U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson declared a mistrial on the charges on which the jury deadlocked, and prosecutors will now need to decide whether to try the defendants again.

The charges included a variety of mail fraud, bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering allegations, related to campaign contributions that prosecutors said were made by lobbyists and gaming executives to influence votes for a bingo bill during the 2010 session.

State Democratic leaders said they were pleased with the outcome of the case.

“We are incredibly pleased that the jury has found Senator Ross not guilty on all counts, and are relieved that Senator Ross and the state can now begin to move past this trial and get back to the business of Alabama,” Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy said.