By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
OPELIKA—The evidentiary hearing into prosecutorial misconduct and selective and vindictive prosecution concluded Wednesday without the promised fireworks. Speaker Mike Hubbard’s defense team listed 37 witnesses for the hearing. They called only six during the public portion of the hearing: Sonny Reagan, Gene Sisson, Jim Sumner, Hugh Evans, Tom Albritton, and Mark Colson. Following the one-and-a-half days of public testimony with the six known witnesses, there was less than one day of private testimony.
Following the private testimony, there was less than an hour of legal housekeeping open to the press, after which the hearing concluded.
During the legal housekeeping, the defense and prosecution argued over whether two of the prosecuting attorneys, W. Van Davis and Matt Hart, would have to give pre-trial testimony in a deposition requested by the defense.
Judge Jacob Walker, III, expressed concern that testimony from Davis and Hart could lead to their eventual disqualification as prosecutors on this case. Hubbard attorney J. Mark White argued that pre-trial testimony did not disqualify prosecutors, but only trial testimony would disqualify prosecutors from prosecuting the case. The prosecution countered that White should be willing to prohibit Hubbard’s team from adding the prosecution to the trial witness list if he truly only sought to elicit pre-trial, rather than trial, testimony from prosecutors.
White quickly responded that he was not amenable to such an agreement.
Judge Walker, expressing deep concerns about allowing the defense to depose the prosecution, withheld ruling on whether the Hubbard defense team would be able to take the deposition Davis and Hart.
The Hubbard defense is working with the prosecution and the court to schedule the deposition of close to a dozen employees of the Alabama Attorney General’s office. Dates suggested in open court on Thursday suggest the depositions should be concluded by November 13.