Alabama Political Reporter
OPELIKA—After deliberating on its second day, the jury broke on Thursday afternoon and found Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) not guilty on two charges of perjury and two counts of providing false statements.
The prosecution closed yesterday by asking the jury not to be confused by the defense’s efforts to fog the facts of the case. However, it appears the defense’s tactics were successful. The jury found the burden of proof in this case had not been met and Moore was cleared of the charges against him.
At the heart of the prosecution’s case was how Moore found out about a possible threat to an economic development project involving Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC) and Enterprise State Community College (ESCC). Moore maintained that he did not know of any potential threats until his opponent, Josh Pipkin from Enterprise, brought it up to him during a recorded conversation. Moore said his opponent was “the only person who mentioned the project being in jeopardy.”
The defense claimed Pipkin was asking Moore “loaded questions” in an effort to trap him. The defense also said Moore and Hubbard supported the project the entire time.
This is common sense, but it should be mentioned: it would be bad public relations to kill a project that would bring jobs to a community before an election so I’m not sure if anyone believed they would really kill the project. The act in question was the threat, not an attempt to kill the project.
The prosecution said they thought Moore lied during his Grand Jury testimony in January. The State offered evidence to show the first time the development project was mentioned as being in jeopardy was during a conversation between Jonathan Tullos, Executive Director of the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation and Moore.
Additionally, the jury heard two recordings from Pipkin and Moore where they discussed the economic project. In one of those calls Moore told Pipkin that he’d convey a message to Hubbard that he would drop out of the race if it ensured the completion of the project. Moore replied, “OK, I’ll tell him if we get these jobs, you’re going to get out.” That was not enough and the defense got the win.
They say perception is reality. Well, the perception is the decision in Moore’s case definitely provides a boost to Hubbard’s legal defense. It might, but there’s a big difference between the charges Moore beat and the 23 indictments facing Hubbard.
Time and a jury will tell if the results are any different.