By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In a 20 page motion, the State argues that the court should deny Speaker Mike Hubbard’s request for a sixth continuance of his trial, on 23 felony counts of public corruption.
Hubbard is requesting more time to prepare for trial, due to added lawyers even though the majority of his legal team has been with him before his indictment, and even new lead counsel, Bill Baxley, has in some way been involved in the case since the beginning.
The State argues, that the prosecution and the Court has, “bent over backwards to accommodate the defense’s trial preparation since this case was indicted 18 months ago. There is simply no reason why current defense counsel, all of whom have been involved with this case in some capacity, since at least its indictment, will not be able to try this case in May.”
Hubbard’s trial has been set for May 9 or 16, some 577 days after his indictment on October 17, 2014.
In his sixth motion for continuance, Hubbard says he wants the trial to began on August 1, as if to usurp judicial discretion. In the State’s motion it says, “Having failed to persuade this Court to grant him a continuance in his last written motion…or in his oral motion at the April 20, 2016…Hubbard drops all pretense of persuasion in his Sixth Motion to Continue…and seeks instead to dictate to this Court when it can try this case, based on implied threats of post-trial appellate review issues.”
Hubbard’s legal team argues they will appeal Hubbard’s case to the Court of Criminal appeals on the grounds he was not granted time to adequately prepare for trial.
The State argues, “Unsurprisingly, Hubbard’s threats are baseless, as case law could not be clearer that appellate courts routinely affirm trial court orders denying motions to continue, despite claims from defense counsel that they need more trial preparation time.”
Once again, Hubbard’s defense complains they need more time, because of the volume of Discovery Material provided by the State.
The prosecution points out how this has been a delay tactic used by Hubbard for over a year, and that not only has the defense been supplied with the proper material, it has also given them the evidence they plan to use at trial, as well as the State’s witness list.
In its motion to deny continuance the State says, it “has now identified its trial exhibits and the defense knows who the State has subpoenaed as a witness which will enable them to target and refine their review of the documents. As a result, even if the defense has not reviewed every page of the State’s production as claimed in [Lance] Bell’s affidavit, there is no reason to believe that it has not reviewed the documents necessary to defend this case.”
The State also addressed Hubbard’s latest claim made at the April 20 hearing, that the State had withheld “boxes” of evidence that they only recently discovered.
To this allegation to State responded by saying, “the document the State recently produced to the defense…fit into a single banker’s box,” and that the the State has identified the specific pages from the document that it intends to introduce at trial.”
Far from being the “document dump” claimed by Hubbard’s attorney the State says, “Obviously, documents that fit into a single banker’s box (and were also produced electronically) is not, as Hubbard risibly describes it, a “document dump” sufficient to justify the continuance of the current trial to August.”
The State calls this a “red herring,” designed to distract from the complete lack of evidence supporting his sixth motion for continuance. The State also produced evidence under seal which they claim shows Hubbard’s legal team had been in possession of most of the documents for over a year.
Trial Judge Jacob Walker, III, has scheduled another pretrial hearing for Friday, April 29.
A pretrial hearing set earlier this month became a sideshow after Hubbard’s attorney Baxley said he didn’t now why they were there.