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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Milton McGregor withdraws motion to remove monitor


VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor withdrew his motion to remove an ankle monitor with his lead attorney saying they had more important motions before the court.
McGregor is one of 10 defendants in an ongoing federal investigation into alleged vote buying and selling aimed at passing electronic bingo legislation.
In a very brief court hearing after the two sides discussed the issue in the judge's chambers on Tuesday, McGregor attorney Joe Espy said they were withdrawing the motion, which was filed after concerns about the device affecting McGregor's sleep.
On Tuesday, Espy would not comment on its affect on McGregor, said that information should not have been made public, and that they have a motion pending on the issue.
Prosecutors did not contest withdrawing the motion.
McGregor was the only one of 11 original defendants that was required to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle as a condition of his release. He was alleged to have made threatening remarks at agents who came to arrest him. His attorneys have denied that allegation.
"We want to be treated like everybody else," Espy said.
The judge told Espy that it was McGregor's right to withdraw the motion, but that he would not look favorably on the motion if it was filed again in the future.
Espy said there was some miscommunication between his legal team and prosecutors during discussions in the judge's chambers. He would not comment farther on the issue, but when asked about discussions about calling witnesses in the hearing Espy said "we got into it a little about that."
Espy said they have about 14 pending motions that are more substantive, including severing McGregor's trial from the other nine remaining defendants.
"This just wasn't a battle to fight today," Espy said. " ... This is a minor issue."
When asked if they would bring up the issue of the ankle monitor again, Espy said "it depends."
Espy said they made a strategic decision about whether that was a battle they needed to fight on Tuesday.
"We felt like it was one we didn't need to insist on," Espy said.
He said McGregor concurred.
For now, the 10 defendants are set to go to trial on April 4.
He and 10 other defendants were arrested in October after being indicted.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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