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Dimora lawyer: "You will be returning a verdict of guilty"

2:55 AM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Jimmy Dimora's lawyer mistakenly told the jury to find his client guilty at the end of his part of the closing argument Wednesday.

Attorney Bill Whitaker concluded his final remarks by saying, "When you look at all the evidence, when you look at all the facts, you will be returning a verdict of guilty on each and every count."

Whitaker began walking back to the defense table where Jimmy Dimora was seated, when he suddenly turned around and corrected himself, saying to the jury, "I mean, not guilty."

The defense lawyer's remarks came at the conclusion of a final statement in which he referred to many of the people who testified against Dimora as "liars," intent only on reducing their own prison terms.

"You should not rest a verdict based on the testimony, demonstrably false, of these people," Whitaker told members of the jury, who have sat through nearly two months of testimony.

Whitaker acknowledged that phone calls and photos of Dimora and his so-called "A-Team" portrayed offensive behavior but that it did not amount to criminal activity.

"They look like teenage boys," Whitaker admitted, but went on to remind the jury that offensive behavior is not always criminal behavior.

Dimora's other attorney, Andrea Whitaker, who is Bill Whitaker's daughter, continued the defense's closing statements by denying that Dimora was "the king of the county," as Prosecutor Antoinette Bacon had asserted a few hours earlier.

"He did not have influence far and wide," Andrea Whitaker continued, reciting to the jury pieces of evidence she said showed that Dimora did not return official favors in exchange for things of value.

"There is no evidence of quid pro quo, of this for that," she stated.

Andrea Whitaker also admonished the jury "...remember, carousing does not equal corruption."

WKYC-TV

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