By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

UPDATE

11 people including Alabama senators, electronic bingo facility owners and lobbyists are standing before a judge today to enter their pleas.

It took less than 20 minutes for all 11 defendents to walk up to the podium and plead not guilty. Victoryland's Milton McGregor even spoke for himself saying "absolutely not guilty."

They each also waived their right to a speedy trial because there is simply so much preparation needed.

The trial date has been set for April 4th and some believe it could take around 6 months for the proceedings to conclude.

Senator Harri Anne Smith says these indictments haven't slowed her campaign down and both her and Country Crossing's Ronnie Gilley had crowds of support waiting for them outside.

Senator Smith said, "I just said I was not guilty...I would have loved to have said absolutely not guilty but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate or not."

Ronnie Gilley said, "Obviously no one wants to have this amount of pressure upon them with these indictments on top of all of us but I'm humbled and I'm proud to be an Alabamian I will continue to fight for our project."

Attorneys were also able to pick up the majority of the prosecution's evidence today.

Senator Harri Anne Smith's Attorney Jim Parkman says there's between 30 and 50 hours of recorded tape in there...so now it's time to begin the long process of building a defense.

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Eleven defendents appeared a the federal courthouse in Montgomery today....indicted on corruption charges surrounding votes on gambling legislation.

In the group are two owners of electronic bingo facilities, an employee, four state senators and four lobbyists.

The arraignment started about 10:30 this morning in front of the federal judge.

The courtroom was full of people and those who have been indicted shook hands with supporters as they came into the courtroom.

Each of the eleven defendents approached the podium with their attorneys to enter not guilty pleas.

Milton McGregon, the owner of Victoryland said "Absolutely not guilty" when asked how he pleaded to the charges.

Each of the accused waived their right to a speedy trial because of the amount of preparation needed for the trial which is scheduled for April 4th, 2011.

The eleven defendents are represented by a total of 39 different attorneys... some of them are the most prominent lawyers in the state.

Senator Harri Anne Smith has retained Jim Parkman who represented Richard Scrushy when he was acquitted... so he has experience with wiretaps.

Parkman talked to reporters on his way into court this morning:
"I'm kinda looking at the wire taps again as being something we can use that will help prove the innocence of the senator in this particular case so I'm kinda looking at it from another side that i want to hear all the wiretaps, not just you know, little snipits>"

Supporters of Ronnie Gilley crowded onto the courthouse lawn with signs supporting the Country Crossing developer.

News 4 will have complete details from Montgomery tonight on News 4 at 5, 6, and 10pm.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Stella on Oct 16, 2010 at 05:10 PM
    A BIG AMEN JACK! To EVERY WORD you posted! I too am a supporter and will continue to be. Ronnie Gilley is a fine man and he has done a lot for his community!
  • by REM on Oct 16, 2010 at 03:56 PM
    Jay, we are not dumb! Unlike you, we are opened minded. You'd be suprised what the governor can do. Check out the Don Siegelman case. Riley was all up in that, as were the same DOJ & FBI investigators that are on this case. You're the one that is an idiot if you don't believe Riley is in this up to his eyeballs, regardless of whether the other 11 are found guilty are innocent. Alabama is going to hell in a hand basket and yes, I believe Bob Riley is a big part of it. Not Ronnie! Not Milton! Not Harri Anne! Not Jay! or the others! Just Bob Riley!!!! Why don't you start sweeping around old Bob's door before you start pointing the finger at the others and calling everybody an idiot that doesn't agree with you. Why don't you do some research & see how much money Riley has taken, among other illegal activities? Every comment you post on here you're bashing the Gilley supporters. If you don't support RG, that's your choice. Just like it's our choice to support him. Get over it already!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2010 at 02:07 PM
    Houston County has got to have some of the biggest hipocrits there are around, it is a shame that they wont get on the band wagon and do what is best for the people of Houston Co. instead of kissing up to our SO CALLED wonderful Gov. One thing about it they are not thinking what would be the best thing for the people of their County.
  • by Jay Location: Wicksburg on Oct 16, 2010 at 04:02 AM
    It is amazing how dumb people can be. First, the Governor has no control over the Obama Department of Justice(FBI). Second, the Federal Prosecutors are investigating corruption, not political parties( 2 democrats, 1 republican and 1 so-called independant( really a democrat that has come home to roost). Third, very few political crooks have ever owned up to being guilty. All always claim to be victims of a POLITICAL WITCH HUNT. Yeah, right!! As for the independant Smith, she was a member of the Democratic Round Table the moring that she announced she was running for the Senate that afternoon. She took Republican money for 12 years, lost to JaY lOVE, THEN BACKED A DEMOCRAT. Thrown out of the Party for violating the rules that she had sworn to uphold,became a so-called independent. Then last Thursday, she was Keynote speaker at a Democratic fundraiser in Geneva. The former Democratic candidate for Senate earlier had thrown what little support she had to Smith. DIRTY POLITICS
  • by Joe Location: Alabama on Oct 15, 2010 at 09:05 PM
    Jean, you tell it like it is. Candace, you have it backwards. It should be Innocent Until Proven Guilty. How did these people harm you that you want to hang them? They must have really done you dirty.
  • by Jack Location: Dothan on Oct 15, 2010 at 03:42 PM
    I am a supporter and very proud to know these people. All of them! Ronnie has given so much to the community. He has helped Enterprise so much. Look what BamaJam did! Now, they are building more hotels in Ozark to facilitate lodging for the people that attend BamaJam. He has always giving back to the community, and he is a true friend. Just imagine what Country Crossing will bring to Houston County. The people will benefit! We are all friends and will stand right next to people like Ronnie Gilley, Harri Anne Smith and Milton McGregor. Friends do that! We will stand right beside all of you and get these businesses reopened! What a great day that will be!
  • by David on Oct 15, 2010 at 02:30 PM
    Good luck Ronnie. You're the greatest! I'm behind you all the way!
  • by DC on Oct 15, 2010 at 02:26 PM
    Ronnie, I'm behind you 100%. I have always respected & admired you and I always will. You are a good man & no one will ever make me think any differently.You have done so much for so many, including myself. Truly, the truth will set you free!!! Who knows what the truth might have instore for Riley.
  • by REM on Oct 15, 2010 at 02:10 PM
    You can't decipher a book by reading a few sentences. The so-called proof they have in that sixty-five page indictment is a mere few sentences taken from hours of conversations. You can make a few sentences into pretty much what you want if you don't know what was said before and after. As for me, with or without knowing the before & after, Ronnie Gilley is INNOCENT! And Bob Riley is a snake in the grass...a very danderous & poisinous one.
  • by Candace Location: Dothan on Oct 15, 2010 at 01:21 PM
    How sad that the only reason all these "supporters" of gilley and Harri Anne can come up with is...it's Riley's fault. Yes, Riley made them take and offer money. And somehow, he changed his voice to sound like each one of them to get tapes of them....and somehow...with all the power he has...he made the Department of Justice and FBI, arrest people when he wanted them to arrest them. Wow! Most of the people in AL are smart enough to realize that the indictments are real and true. Gilley and the rest need to know that we are not buying his or anyone else's lies! Can't wait for the trial!!!!!!!!
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