Thursday, March 09, 2006

Morgan: Prosecution 'Doesn't Have the Evidence' to Convict Schultz

Defense attorney Stephen Morgan took a different approach with his closing statement than Meyer. Where Meyer appeared mocking and tightly wound, Morgan came across as relaxed and low-key.

He said he wanted the jurors to think about the atmosphere that existed when Schultz walked into the ARC office.

Morgan conceded that Schultz helped candidates with campaign finance reports, pushed lazy legislators to fundraise, created donor lists and other campaign-related work. "She did. She helped people -- that was her job," he said.

But to prove her charge of aiding and abetting, Morgan said, the prosecution has to show she had knowledge that a crime was being committed. He said the state has not proven that, and in fact had not given the jury "one iota of evidence" to that end.

"Mr. Blanchard ignored that. Why? I think it's obvious -- he doesn't have the evidence."

He also said Schultz did not do the things the prosecution accused her of to the degree they assert.

He picked out the testimony of Charlene Rodriguez, whose testimony regarding how many times she saw Schultz changed between the John Doe investigation and the trial. He said memories fade over the years, and suggested witness testimony was tainted by preparation by the prosecutors. "I don't think any of these witnesses know for sure anymore," he said.

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