Judge's Trial in Final Phase

The prosecution and defense have rested their case in the racketeering trial of two Caddo Parish Judges. The Jury began deliberations 8:30 Friday night. Judge Maurice Hicks sequestered the jury and the trial is continuing through the weekend.

Judge Michael Walker and Judge Vernon Claville are accused of taking bribes from A-Instant Bail Bonding Company for lowering bonds and lifting probation holds on inmates. During closing arguments Prosecutor Alec Vanhook reminded the jury that in a seven month period A Instant Bail Bonding had 141 bonds reduced, adn that 137 of those bonds were reduced by Judge Walker alone.

The defense teams argue that none of the wiretapped phone calls between judges and A-Instant Bail Bonds representative, Travis McCullough mention bribes or payments. However Vanhook has illustraited a sequence of events, such as phone calls and meetings that indcated what he calls a pattern of bribery. He told jurors that justice was for sale.

Closing arguments concluded Friday afternoon and the jury was given final instructions and sequestered until a verdict is reached.

Story by Fred Childers