RICHMOND -- The judge is expected to read jury instructions before prosecutors and defense attorneys begin their opening arguments Tuesday on this second day of the trial of former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.
U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer went through an exhaustive list of questions aimed at narrowing down the pool of 150 potential jurors to just 12 jurors and four alternates.
During jury selection Monday, Spencer asked prospective jurors about their family, life and experiences. Jurors were asked for details on whether they or any family members worked in law enforcement, worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia, worked in or had knowledge of or training in accounting, had banking experience or worked in the mortgage and finance industry.
The McDonnells are being tried together on more than a dozen charges, including honest services wire fraud, obtaining property by false pretenses and making false statements.
Court recessed around 6:30 p.m. Monday, demonstrating Spencer’s desire to speed the trial along as much as possible by staying late to finish jury selection in just one day.
In addition to picking a jury, attorneys for both sides filed lists detailing possible evidence they plan to present and witnesses they plan to call.
Prosecutors disclosed 615 different exhibits they could introduce as evidence detailing Bob and Maureen McDonnell’s alleged crimes. Included on the list of potential evidence are actual items of clothes—including several Oscar de la Renta sweaters, a pair of Minkoff shoes and a Louis Vuitton purse.
Other gifts on the list of potential evidence include Callaway golf clubs, a Rolex watch, two iPhones and two checks from a trust linked to wealthy businessman Jonnie Williams totaling $65,000.
Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific, is expected to be the prosecution’s star witness. Prosecutors allege Williams showered the former first couple with gifts in exchange for their help promoting his company’s new diet supplement, Anatabloc.
McDonnell and his attorneys have countered the former governor did not show any favoritism towards Williams.
The McDonnells have separate legal teams but filed their log of potential evidence and witness lists together.
The list includes three prominent Republican Virginia Beach politicians, who would likely be called on to testify in defense of McDonnell’s character. The McDonnells lived in Virginia beach for decades, where Bob practiced law and later served in the House of Delegates before becoming attorney general and then governor.
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, former Commonwealth Attorney Harvey Bryant and Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, who served in the Virginia State Senate before becoming sheriff, are on the defense’s list of potential witnesses, as is former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Although the McDonnells are being tried together, they are going to great lengths to appear separate. The couple entered and left the courthouse separately on Monday, sat apart in the courtroom and seemingly did not make eye contact or acknowledge one another.
The trial is expected to last a month or more.
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