Without question the most compelling testimony of the day came when the defense introduced into evidence a transcript of a recorded conversation administered by the witness himself, Sen. Scott Beason (R - Gardendale). Beason recorded the conversation at some point in the Spring of 2010 during the legislative session and he tesitified on the stand that he "didn't recall" whether the conversation took place in his State House office or somewhere else.
The conversation was with Beason, Sen. Larry Dixon (R - Montgomery), Sen. Ben Brooks (R - Mobile) and Rep. Ben Lewis (R - Dothan). Lewis and Dixon are no longer members of the Alabama Legislature. The conversation was about the 2010 ballot and how it would be impacted by proposed constitutional amendment regarding bingo were approved by lawmakers for the people to vote on.
At the time of the recording, the Republican party was in the minority in the Alabama State House but that eventually changed during the November election sweep. At this point, the defense argued, the GOP was trying to figure out any way possible to gain control of the Senate from the Democrats.
During this recorded conversation read in court, attorneys for Milton McGregor contend it's fast and more efficient to read transcripts rather than use the playing of tapes, Beason and the others made several off color. racist remarks.
On the recording, Beason himself is heard referring to the patrons of Greenetrack, a electronic bingo and dog-racing facility in Greene County, as "aborigines." Later on in the conversation, the others say bingo amendments would be bad for the GOP on the ballot because that would draw many black voters to the polls on "HUD buses." Beason, Brooks, Dixon, and Lewis are also heard saying that Victoryland and Greenetrack would offer buffets and free rides to get people to vote on whether or not electronic bingo should be legal in Alabama.
Bobby Segall, the attorney for Milton McGregor who conducted the day and a half long cross-examination, said after the transcript was read, " I wonder what you say when you know you're not being recorded."
Some of the other large moments of the day was when the defense addressed Beason's memory. Jim Parkman, the attorney for Sen. Harri Anne Smith said at one point during his cross examination that Beason had said the phrase "I don't recall" more than 66 times.
Beason in his Grand Jury testimony said at one point during the investigation that Sen. Smith offered him a $500,000 bribe if he was "part of the team" with Ronnie Gilley and Jarrod Massey. Parkman pointed out through Beason's testimony that he only told the FBI about that alleged event a year after. The event allegedly happened in April 2009 but Beason didn't tell authorities until May 2010.
Parkman, after the proceedings said, "It's a story. That never happened." Sen. Smith agreed.
Beason will be on the stand tomorrow for redirect from the Federal Government prosecutors where he will have some explaining to do. Prosecutors will likely attempt to restore his character with the jury after defense attorneys spent three days doing whatever they could to tarnish it.