Published: Monday, November 08, 2010, 8:45 PM
TUSCALOOSA -- Jurors will return Tuesday to continue deliberations in the federal bribery trial of Tuscaloosa contractor Roger Taylor.
Jurors began deliberations this afternoon after hearing final arguments in the trial that began Oct. 25.
Taylor is charged with bribing former Alabama two-year college chancellor Roy Johnson by paying $92,286 for appliances, doors and windows, and some contractor
costs on a house Johnson built in 2004 in Opelika. Taylor's firm, Hall-Taylor
Construction, got contracts for managing construction projects at two-year
colleges during Johnson's tenure as chancellor.
Taylor said the payments were a loan. He faces one count of conspiracy, five counts of bribery, and two counts of obstruction of justice.
Before leaving today, jurors asked Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace
Blackburn three questions.
One question was why Joanne Jordan, a former interim president of Southern Union
State Community College, and Jimmie Clements, a long-time friend of Johnson who
had contracts with the two-year college system, did not testify. Both Jordan and
Clements names were mentioned in Taylor's trial.
Jordan was sentenced to two years' probation after pleading guilty to state
charges in the two-year scandal. Clements faces state charges in connection with
the two-year college probe.
Blackburn told jurors that they were to consider the evidence and they should not speculate what any person who has not testified would say.
Jurors also asked was the fact that there had been 15 indictments before Taylor mentioned in court, and whether they had access to Johnson's grand jury testimony. Blackburn told them "no" to both questions.
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