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Gianakos defense rests

By Staff
Trial notes:
Both alternate jurors have been called into service. One juror was excused last week after her husband injured his hand and she was needed to help run the family business. A second juror was excused Monday after she became ill. The composition of the jury is now six women and six men, three African-Americans and 11 whites.
Attorneys have asked some questions about who was married to whom during the period covered by the indictment. Presumably, the reason for this is to establish if information was being passed along by spouses. During all or part of this period: 1) Primestar regional manager David Van Colvin's wife, Amy, worked at Gianakos Associates; and 2) Primestar employee Randy Martin's wife, Laura, also worked at Gianakos Associates. Testimony indicates there was no sharing of information between spouses.
More spectators attended the trial Monday than on any day last week. Supporters of Kim Gianakos made a particularly strong showing, lining the second bench from one end to the other and spilling into other rows.
Certified public accountant Bill Elliott testified Monday that he consulted with Gianakos during a 1996 tax audit. While additional taxes were owed for tax years 1994 and 1995, he said the IRS auditor found no evidence of tax crimes, fraud or money-laundering.
Just before resting his case, Gianakos attorney Frank Trapp called five prominent character witnesses to speak for his client: 1) Mike Reich of East Mississippi Electric Power Association; 2) Bettie Lou Jones, known for her involvement in volunteer fund-raising efforts; 3) C.D. Smith of BellSouth; 4) Anne Dowdle of Meridian Community College; and 5) Bill Crawford of Meridian Community College.
Two character witnesses testified Monday for Graham: 1) Marlon West, Wayne County chancery clerk; and 2) Frank Johnston, Graham's employer.
It is not uncommon for both prosecution and defense attorneys to read newspaper accounts of a trial. From their point of view, it gives a rough indication of how the jury may be perceiving their arguments. A member of the prosecution team remarked last week that The Meridian Star is reviewed during the lunch break.