By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—On Wednesday, the State filed a Motion for Pretrial Determination of Admissibility of Evidence in the Speaker Mike Hubbard case. In the motion, the State asks Judge Jacob Walker, III to issue an order before the trial, “determining that the State’s trial exhibits will be admissible evidence.”
In a motion filed in February, the Prosecution stated that they have provided “approximately 1,511 documents and corresponding index” as evidence against Hubbard, in order for pretrial preparation as required by the court. The Defense has yet to respond.
The latest motion says that the defense has yet to “stipulate to the admissibility of these documents,” further stating that the Defense has indicated on several occasions that they intend to challenge them based on “objections to authenticity, chain of custody, or other evidentiary matters.”
According to the motion, most of the documents were obtained from various businesses and government agencies. The State contends, that in order to be able to authenticate the documents, they would be required to subpoena “over a dozen custodians of records for the sole purpose of authenticating and admitting these records.”
The motion states that should Walker not make a pretrial determination, testimony from all of these witnesses would have to be heard before the jury, in order to authenticate the documents and enter them into evidence. This would prolong a trial already expected to be lengthy.
The motions cites Rule 15.6(b) recognizing, “the value and propriety” of addressing these issues before a jury is empaneled and sworn in.
In conclusion, the State asks that Walker set an evidentiary hearing, permit the State to subpoena custodians of records, and that the court make a determination on admissibility at the exhibits during the hearing before the trial date.
Walker has scheduled the trial date for May 16, but has asked that both the prosecution and the defense be prepared to go to trial on May 9, should the cases scheduled before the Hubbard trial not make it to court.
The pretrial date is scheduled for April 20.
Hubbard has been indicted on 23 felony counts of public corruption.