Case in hands of jury
Five more character witnesses testified Wednesday for Wayne Raley: Dr. Dan Moore, Bud Robinson, Dr. W.J. Anderson, Ronnie Massey, Cheryl Rainey and Jerome Trahan.
U.S. District Judge Tom Lee's staff could not provide an exact number of exhibits, but six boxes of evidence are available for the jury's consideration.
Convictions on most counts in the 21-count federal indictment are punishable by up to five years in prison. The counts associated with money-laundering are punishable by up to 20 years.
What does it mean? The goal of money-laundering is to disguise the origin of money acquired through illegal means. One of the ways to do this is to "book" the money in seemingly legal ways providing a reasonable explanation for where it came from and obscuring the audit trail. By definition, money has to be "dirty" before the layering of financial transactions begins. "Clean" money doesn't need to be laundered.
The two defense attorneys from Meridian have distinguished legal pedigrees. Henry Palmer was Lauderdale County's district attorney from 1976-78. In 1979, Palmer became a Lauderdale County Circuit Court judge and Charlie Wright became district attorney. Palmer sat on the Circuit Court bench until 1986; Wright was district attorney until 1988. The two men are partners in a law firm called Palmer, Wright and Williamson. One final twist. The "Williamson" in Palmer, Wright and Williamson is Lester Williamson Jr. His father and Palmer served together as Lauderdale County Circuit Court judges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Anderson left his dark, severe "federal prosecutor suit" at home Wednesday in favor of a mellow yellow seersucker ensemble, worn with buff and navy blue saddle oxfords. "Nice suit," an observer said. "It's that time of year," he said.