Siegelman, Scrushy ask judge to reconsider new trial ruling
MONTGOMERY (AP) — Former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy asked a federal judge Thursday to reconsider his ruling turning down their bid for a new trial.
To support the request, defense attorneys submitted copies of e-mails that purportedly were sent between two jurors during the trial.
The lawyers said they received printed copies of the messages that were sent anonymously through the mail.
The defense again asked for a new trial saying jurors discussed the case with one another by e-mail during the trial, and that they had considered material from the Internet during deliberations.
Both the new motion and the original request cited copies of e-mails allegedly sent between two jurors, foreman Sam Hendrix and Katie Langer.
Hendrix and Langer, in media interviews, denied sending the e-mails.
Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted in June of bribery and conspiracy following a two-month government corruption trial in federal court.
Siegelman was convicted of a separate obstruction of justice charge.
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller ruled on Dec. 13 that there was not sufficient evidence that Siegelman and Scrushy were denied a fair trial because of jurors' activities on computers.
Fuller said in his ruling that evidence of jurors talking about the case through e-mails was unsubstantiated.
Attorneys for Siegelman and Scrushy asked Fuller to reconsider his ruling. Scrushy, in a motion signed by attorney Art Leach, renewed a request for Fuller to order the computers and computer records of some jurors seized.
The motions filed Thursday cite copies of different e-mails that were sent anonymously in recent weeks to defense attorneys and to some news reporters who covered the trial.
The copies allege the e-mails were sent to Hendrix from Langer and one of them includes the line, "all public officials r scum; especially this one."
Hendrix told the Press-Register newspaper that the e-mail copies were "ridiculous."
"It's absolutely fabricated," he said. "This is completely bogus. I don't know what they're up to, but I sure would like to move on to my life."
Langer told the newspaper that jurors exchanged addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses at the end of the trial. She said she believes someone got a copy of that list and used the e-mail addresses to fabricate the e-mails.
A motion signed by Siegelman attorney David McDonald says it was clear that a law has been violated — either by the two jurors or by whoever created the e-mails.
"Either way, this court should immediately conduct a thorough investigation of this matter so that whoever is the author ... can be brought to justice," the motion said.
Fuller has not indicated when he might rule. Fuller has delayed sentencing until after he rules on a motion challenging the racial makeup of the pool used to pick grand jurors who indicted Siegelman and Scrushy.
Information from: Press-Register, http://www.al.com/mobileregister
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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