Dimora Trial Week 7: Is the end in sight?

7:54 AM, Feb 24, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- At the start of week seven of testimony, what's still ahead in the trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and co-defendant Michael Gabor, a former employee in Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo's office?

After defense attorneys finish putting their witnesses on the stand, what happens next?

By the end of court Thursday, defense attorneys for Jimmy Dimora had put seven witnesses on the stand in his defense. They mostly testified to one or two specific incidents where they allege that Dimora did not influence them to award contracts to any specific company.

The original list from Jan. 3 of co-defendant Michael Gabor's witnesses includes six former Cuyahoga County co-workers and supervisors, 12 former customers of his mother Agnes Gabor's Fast Check Deli in Maple Heights where he worked before being hired by the county, five people involved in his divorce and seven miscellaneous people.

The list was posted on the court's website briefly, then removed.

In the miscellaneous list, among those listed were Broadview Heights Mayor Sam Alai, Gabor's girlfriend Providence Insana, James and Lilian Trovato, and Adrian Maldonado.

Maldonado already testified Thursday for Dimora.

Gabor's attorney Leif Christman has indicated recently that the original list is considerably cut down.

Dimora, 56, of Independence, is charged with 36 counts of bribery, conspiracy and racketeering.

Gabor, 52, of Parma, is charged with bribery and conspiracy, including a charge that he bribed a Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court judge with $10,000 to rule in his favor.

Both have pleaded not guilty. Dimora is represented by the Akron-based father-daughter team of William and Andrea Whitaker. Gabor is represented by Cleveland attorneys Christman and David Oakley.

Once the defense attorneys have rested their cases, the attorneys and U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi will go through the evidence presented by defense attorneys and approve or disapprove of them being entered into the official record.

The attorneys and Lioi will also have to confer on what instructions Lioi will give the jury. Both sides get to submit their requests for what is to be included in the instructions.

After that is done, attorneys for each defendant and the prosecution will present closing arguments, something that could take up nearly an entire day.

Then the jury will receive its instructions from Lioi before they retire for deliberations.

It's anyone's guess as to how long they will deliberate. The jury has not been sequestered during the trial and it is not known if Lioi will have them sequestered for deliberations.

Jury selection took place Jan. 4-6. Then there was a break while Dimora had an appeal pending in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That appeal was denied and opening statements started Jan. 12.

Lioi and prosecutors have said from the start that the trial would likely last three months -- from Jan. 4 through April 4 and the prosecutors planned to rest their case on Feb. 29.

But it was on Feb. 16 that prosecutors told defense attorneys that they intended to rest on Feb. 21.      


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