The Latest: Jury convicts Alabama speaker on 12 charges


OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (all times local):

9 p.m.

A jury has convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 charges of violating the state ethics law.

The jury returned the verdict Friday night after deliberating for seven hours. Sentencing is set for July 28.

Hubbard faced 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using political positions as House speaker and chairman of the Alabama Republican Party to make money and solicit financial favors from lobbyists and company owners.

Prosecutors said Hubbard used the power of his office to improperly benefit his companies and clients and to try to obtain $2.3 million worth of work, investments and financial favors. Hubbard’s defense argued that the transactions were legal and within the bounds of the ethics law and exemptions for normal business dealings and longstanding friendships.

Hubbard testified in his own defense. The state’s current and former governors testified during the trial.

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8:45 p.m.

A jury has reached a verdict in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

The decision will be announced in court Friday night. The jury met for seven hours before reaching a decision.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

He will be removed from office if convicted of any felony count.

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3:35 p.m.

Jurors in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Hubbard are asking for a definition of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The jury sent the question Friday afternoon after about 90 minutes of deliberations. Circuit Judge Jacob Walker read the standard definition given to jurors about the prosecution’s evidence burden. Walker sent the panel back to continue their talks.

The panel of 12 jurors is made up of four black men, four white men, three black women and one white woman.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

Hubbard will be removed from office if convicted of any felony count.

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1:55 p.m.

A jury has begun deliberations in the corruption trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Jurors left the courtroom Friday afternoon to begin deliberations after a judge instructed them on the state ethics law and what elements prosecutors must show in order to convict Hubbard.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis told jurors in closing arguments Friday at Hubbard’s ethics trial the GOP speaker was “all about greed.” But defense lawyer Bill Baxley called the accusations “absurd.”

Hubbard will be removed from office if convicted of any felony count.

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11:10 a.m.

A state prosecutor told jurors that Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard was a man consumed by ambition and greed who tried to use the power of his office to make money.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis told jurors in closing arguments Friday at Hubbard’s ethics trial the GOP speaker was “all about greed.” Davis asked jurors to send a message that Hubbard is not above the law.

Jurors will begin deliberations later Friday in Hubbard’s ethics trial.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

He will be removed from office if convicted of any felony count.

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10 a.m.

A defense lawyer for Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard told jurors that overzealous prosecutors were trying to convict the Republican speaker of ethics violations based on “flimsy” evidence.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley told jurors in closing arguments Friday that Hubbard was careful to obey the state ethics law and there was no proof he did anything wrong.

Lawyers are making their final arguments to jurors before the panel begins deliberations. A state prosecutor will make final remarks after Baxley concludes.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

He will be removed from office if convicted of any felony count.

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2:12 a.m.

Lawyers will make their final remarks to jurors in the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

A prosecutor and defense lawyer will finish closing arguments Friday morning. The jury is expected to begin deliberations later in the day.

Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political positions to obtain business and investment for his companies. Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

State prosecutor Michael Duffy told jurors Thursday that Hubbard put a “for sale” sign on his public office as he obtained consulting contracts for tens of thousands of dollars.

Defense lawyer Lance Bell said in closing arguments Thursday that Hubbard did not break the law and prosecutors presented nothing that proves he did.

If convicted, Hubbard will be automatically removed from office.

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