Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blanchard Cuts Down Witness List for Jensen Trial

Dane County DA Brian Blanchard shortened his witness list in the trial of state Rep. Scott Jensen and former GOP legislative aide Sherry Schultz to 51 names, cutting out a number of key state Republican figures.

Removed from the new list are seven sitting members of the Assembly; Reps. Garey Bies, Don Friske, Dan Meyer, Phil Montgomery, Mark Pettis, Jeff Stone and Scott Suder. Current Assembly Speaker John Gard was retained as a witness by Blanchard.

One new name was added by Blanchard, Nicole (Anderson) Schroeder. Blanchard's original list of potential witnesses contained 118 names.

Blanchard kept former Reps. Steve Foti and Bonnie Ladwig on his witness list. Both pleaded guilty to misdemeanors as part of the so-called "caucus scandal" and agreed to testify at the Jensen/Schultz trial.

Blanchard also asked that Ebert order Meyer to submit a revised witness list in light of last Friday's rulings on the defense's selective prosecution argument. "The state should not be left to wonder which names were part of a defense theories of 'everyone does it' or 'the other side does it,' or part of a court rejected approach by the defense that the jury defines the duty at issue," Blanchard wrote to Ebert.

Jensen's attorney, Stephen Meyer, also had a filing Wednesday in which he said he still intends to use the statements of former legislative leaders David Prosser and Joseph Strohl. Prosser is now a state Supreme Court Justice.

Meyer also said he still intends to call former Democratic Assembly Speaker Tom Loftus.

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