LIVE BLOG: The Leopold Trial – Day 5

| January 25, 2013 | 2 Comments

Today is the fifth day of testimony in the trial of Anne Arundel County Executive, John R. Leopold, who was indicted in March on four counts of misconduct in office and one count of fraudulent misappropriation. The indictment alleged that Leopold used his executive security detail for personal and political gain. He has pleaded not guilty. Leopold has opted to be tried by retired Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, a retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge. Sweeney also presided over the trial of former Baltimore Mayor, Sheila Dixon.

This is a live blog and commentary will be updated as it happens in the courtroom. There is no need to refresh the page. The trial will get underway at 9:00am.

This live blog (and future ones) will be factually correct; however, it will be presented casually as commentary with heavy doses of opinion, humor, and even a little bit of snark.  For traditional reporting of the trial, we recommend that you check out the stories from Allison Bourg of the Capital Gazette and Anna Staver of the Annapolis Patch.

You are on Twitter…right? If not you should be. Please follow us (and others) on Twitter. The hashtag for the trial is #leopold.  Other media representatives covering the trial are also tweeting and you might as well follow them too. @abourg_capital, @annapolispatch, @melserwbal, @johnaaromwtop, @annyswapo, @amaxsmith, @jlepolastewart, @cherylconner, @andsiegel and @annapolisscott.

Please read our recap of opening day , day 2,  day 3, and day 4 as well as our live blog from the second , third , and fourth day. (Note: there is no live blog from the first day, we installed the software after the first day).

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John Frenaye January 25, 20132:31 pm

Defense is done, prosecution asks minimal questions. Dr. Band is released. Now in typical Maryland fashion, the court loses their mind and dismisses because we might get an inch of snow.

John Frenaye January 25, 20132:13 pm

Defense calls Dr. Roy Bands who is Leopold’s orthopedic surgeon. He testifies that his back was messed up, writhing in pain, and required a six hour surgery. Anecdotally he said he was surprised that Leopold was able to stand pain as long as he could. Also said his bladder was “as big as I’ve ever seen.”

Testimony is really boring to most, but I guess it is exciting to Dr. Bands. Hey what’s new with Manti T’eo?

John Frenaye January 25, 20131:45 pm

Count 2, regarding the theft of Joanna Conti’s campaign signs, the Judge acquitted Leopold. The case will move forward on the other counts and the defense will mount their case.

John Frenaye January 25, 20131:35 pm

And we are back. It’s unusual to see a witness who already testified in the courtroom. Joanna Conti is observing.

John Frenaye January 25, 201312:17 pm

Lunch recess until 130. I don’t think Bonsib’s comments after the state finished inspired Judge Sweeney. Prior to lunch they had a bench conference without Leopold present. He usually is at bench.

John Frenaye January 25, 201312:00 pm

Consensus in media here is now shifting. I may need to gloat about my prediction a bit later. Sweeney is really questioning prosecution on ALL counts. Defense table looks upbeat, general look in crowd in courtroom is disapproving disbelief. But still no ruling yet from judge.

John Frenaye January 25, 201311:24 am

It seems likely that the Judge will acquit on at least a few of the charges in the indictment. The prosecution seems to be a bit deflated. The don’t have the fire in the belly. Granted the fire is probably costing $1000/hour.

John Frenaye January 25, 201311:11 am

The State is making argument to not acquit. Judge Sweeney just questioned the State that Leopold was acting as a candidate, private citizen when Conti signs were removed. Indicated that you cannot charge him or misconduct in office when he was not acting as County Executive.

This is the only count I felt Leopold might be convicted on. It is getting interesting. Please see my comments made yesterday after the prosecution rested.

John Frenaye January 25, 201310:46 am

The defense rests their arguments for acquittal. Judge Sweeney calls for a ten minute recess and will rule on motion upon return. Consensus among media present is that he will rule against motion.

John Frenaye January 25, 201310:39 am

Bonsib argues that Leopold ad no knowledge of who was on overtime, so how is that a breach of fiduciary duties. This is in regards to the misappropriation count.

John Frenaye January 25, 201310:27 am

Most awesome quote of trial. Bonsib arguing the parking lot sex. “What if he was a married man that wanted to go home for a nooner with his wife? Is that illegal?”

John Frenaye January 25, 201310:22 am

One plus hour and Bonsib getting louder in argument for acquittal. Judge Sweeney still listening to him count by count.

John Frenaye January 25, 20139:57 am

Bob Bonsib has been relatively quiet so far. Right now, he is like the sleeping pit bull in the corner that just got kicked. The Judge is listening. It was not expected that this motion would go anywhere, but this non-legal mind says there is a slight chance.

John Frenaye January 25, 20139:39 am

The defense is still arguing for acquittal and Judge Sweeney is listening and asking questions. I see this as a good sign for the defense. The Judge had the opportunity to say, “what are you effin crazy???”, but did not. Hmmmm.

John Frenaye January 25, 20139:18 am

The defense is making a motion for acquittal as expected. Bob Bonsib is making arguments why State did not make their case. The judge will likely take it under consideration, but likely not grant it. If he does grant it, game over and Leopold heads back to 44 Calvert Street.

John Frenaye January 25, 20139:12 am

Here come the judge. And we are now in session.

John Frenaye January 25, 20138:57 am

In courtroom for day 5 of the Leopold trial scheduled to get underway at 9:00am. So far, light crowd here.

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Category: Breaking News, Crime News, NEWS, OPINION, POLITICAL NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with