A political corruption trial in Alabama that centered on allegations of vote-buying to legalize gambling ended without a single conviction Thursday in federal court in Montgomery. Jurors deadlocked on many counts and returned not guilty verdicts on others in the case accusing a bingo hall operator and eight others of offering or accepting bribes in connection with proposed gambling legislation, reports the Birmingham News.
The jury acquitted two of the nine defendants, a lobbyist and a state senator from Montgomery. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson declared a mistrial on the deadlocked counts and said he will set a trial date next month. The trail took two months, and jurors deliberated for 39 hours. Bingo operator Milton McGregor, whom prosecutors accused of being the kingpin of a conspiracy to bribe legislators for their votes with offers of campaign contributions and business opportunities, was found not guilty of three charges, but the jury was deadlocked on 14 others. Jurors also deadlocked on eight of the 19 charges against state Sen. Harri Anne Smith, accused of changing her position on gambling legislation as a result of campaign contributions from casinos.