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Closing Arguments in Federal Racketeering Trial

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

November 29, 2005

Closing arguments are underway in a federal racketeering trial in Charlottesville.

The jury may begin deliberating the fate of the four defendants charged with running a drug conspiracy and a list of related violent crimes as early as Tuesday.

The four defendants, Louis Antonio Bryant, his uncle John Bryant, Clay Maupin and Terry Suggs have four defense attorneys presenting their side in this case. Monday afternoon, only Louis Antonio Bryant?s attorney made his closing arguments.

Bryant's attorney Jonathan Katz told the jury not to convict his client because there's reasonable doubt. He said that doubt is the testimony of 12 co-conspirators in this case who testified hoping for lesser sentences in exchange for their statements.

The defense finished presenting their witnesses around 11 a.m. Tuesday. In total, they spent less than four hours calling witnesses in this trial.

While the prosecution, who has the burden of proof, called more than 20 witnesses in a two week period.

In closing arguments, federal prosecutors said all of the testimony in this case was backed up by other evidence that proves Louis Antonio Bryant is the leader of this drug and crime ring, that John Bryant was the group's money launder, and that Clay Maupin and Terry Suggs were key figures in selling and delivering drugs and doling out revenge and violence.

The case is expect to wrap up by the end of the week. Tomorrow, the defense will finish closing arguments and the jury will begin deliberations.


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