Decision Time 2012 At The Montgomery Federal Courthouse 10 AM on MondayRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 16 2012 12:09 AM
MONTGOMERY: In what was described as the largest public corruption case in Alabama, three defendants will learn their fate at 10 AM on Monday in Montgomery Alabama.
Despite handshake agreements with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit with defense attorneys for the defendants to have the opportunity to testify to Grand Jury and turn themselves into custody if indicted, Federal Agents stormed the residents and businesses of 12 people to take them into custody.
The agents surrounded the homes of business people and State Senators handcuffing and belly chaining them and placing them in law enforcement cars to be transported to Montgomery. The arrests occurred 30 days from the General Elections in the State of Alabama.
Prior to the arrests of the 12 one person had already agreed to co-operate with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit. That person was Jennifer Pouncey who was the assistant to Lobbyist Jarrod Massey.
Shortly after the arrest Lobbyist Jarrod Massey began to co-operate with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit. That co-operation landed one of the defendants, Enterprise Businessman Ronnie Gilley, in the Montgomery City Jail.
After what is described as deplorable in conditions – the Montgomery City Jail, Ronnie Gilley sit in the city jail for weeks. All attempts to get released on bail failed and it looked as if Gilley would remain in the jail until the case went to trial.
After weeks in Montgomery City Jail under conditions described as equivalent to “water boarding”, Gilley began to co-operate with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit. After his co-operation Ronnie Gilley entered into a plea agreement negotiated by Geneva Attorney David Harrison. Gilley’s plea was to one count of conspiracy, six counts of bribery and four counts of money laundering. In the plea agreement Gilley pledged his full cooperation with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit.
Shortly after Gilley’s plea the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit who fought Gilley’s release from Montgomery City Jail prior to trial took no position on his release from custody. With no objections Federal Judge Myron Thompson released Gilley from the jail.
After Massey’s co-operation with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit, former Alabama State Representative Terry Spicer was fingered. It was not until Massey entered guilty pleas for Conspiracy; five counts of bribery and one year later that Spicer admitted his guilt.
Spicer then entered pleas to one count of bribery.
Two trials took place in Montgomery Alabama Federal Court before Judge Myron Thompson. There were 9 defendants fighting for their lives and freedom. After weeks the first trial ended with two persons being found NOT GUILTY, other defendants being found NOT GUILTY on some of the offenses and some offenses no verdict reached.
The Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit lead investigator left the employment of the Federal Government days before the new trial was to begin. One defendant, Ray Crosby, was found dead of natural causes in his apartment on Sunday before the trials were to begin on Monday. The remaining defendants went to trial. All were found NOT GUILTY.
The Pleas Of Guilt
On Monday three defendants will learn their fate.
Defendant Ronnie Gilley guilty pleas are for crimes to persons who were found NOT GUILTY. Even though Gilley plead to the crimes the defendants still stand on the facts that he did not bribe them.
When Gilley entered his guilty plea prior to trials of the 9, he waived any rights to appeals of his guilty plea. The plea was negotiated by Geneva Attorney David Harrison.
The sentence range for the crimes Gilley entered a plea to is 21 to 27 years. The Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit has recommended a downward departure and a sentence for Ronnie Gilley to 11 years.
In the federal prison a person almost serves day for day of sentences.
Being the first of the 12 arrested to enter a guilty plea, Jarrod Massey entered pleas for Conspiracy; five counts of bribery. The sentence range is 14 to 17 years. The Washington D.C Public Integrity Unit has recommended a sentence of 11 years.
After denying for a year any involvement, former Alabama State Representative Terry Spicer entered a guilty plea to one count of Conspiracy. The sentence range is 4 to 6 years. The Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit’s recommendation of middle range to the recommended sentence.
In August Jennifer Pouncey will be sentenced in her plea. Pouncey was the first person to co-operate with the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit.
Up To The Judge Thompson
While the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit will make their argument for sentence, the defendants will make their arguments as to why the sentence should be lower.
After all is said and done, the final decision will be that of Judge Myron Thompson.
As I understand it, while the defendants have waived their right to appeal the guilty pleas, both sides have the right to appeal the sentence handed down. The defendants can appeal if they feel the sentence is to high while the Washington D.C. Public Integrity Unit can argue if the sentence range is to low.
We will work to keep you informed.