Judge rules in favor of some Barron motions, against in others
Former State Senator Lowell Barron
DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WZDX) - A DeKalb County judge ruled on several motions Wednesday in the case of former State Senator Lowell Barron.
DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Randall Cole ordered prosecutors to turn over all witness testimony to him that relates to the charges against Barron and former campaign staffer Rhonda Jill Johnson. Both face campaign finances and ethics charges stemming from Barron's unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2010.
Prosecutors claim Barron and Johnson converted $58,000 in campaign funds and a campaign vehicle for Johnson's personal use.
Cole ordered prosecutors' witness testimony turned over to him so he could review it to determine if any of it should be turned over to Barron's attorneys. The attorneys claim testimony that reinforces Barron and Johnson had a strictly professional relationship is important to their case.
Cole also acknowledged that the language used in the grand jury witness and expert subpoenas was not correct. The language instructed them not to disclose their subpoenas to anyone. Cole ruled that Barron's attorneys can inform witnesses they are free to discuss the case as long as they don't reveal testimony or talk about evidence given to the grand jury.
Barron's attempt to have Judge Cole seal any possible evidence of uncharged misconduct that would be presented by prosecutors was denied. Barron's attorneys claimed any filings admitted publicly could hurt his right to a fair trial.
Judge Cole also ruled against Barron's motion that concerned a grand jury that was empanelled after the one that heard his case. Barron's attorneys were concerned it was investigating the same case. Cole ruled that Barron's attorneys failed to show there was any proof.