By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In the most recent filing by convicted felon and former Speaker of the House, Mike Hubbard, he continues to accuse Judge Jacob Walker, III, of not doing his job. Hubbard asks the court for an acquittal, a new trial and other relief, citing Judge Walker allowing former Ethics Director, Jim Sumner, to testify as an expert witness, as grounds for the motion.
The motion states, “Hubbard requests a new trial under Rule 24.1(c)(2), because the State improperly presented putatively ‘expert’ testimony from witness Sumner about the meaning, purpose, and application of the laws under which Hubbard was charged.”
As proof, Hubbard’s criminal defense team cites the Alabama Political Reporter as a court observer. “There can be no doubt that this testimony was an important factor in the case.” As one trial observer wrote, Sumner “testified authoritatively and effectively with devastating consequences for the defense on Day Five of the criminal trial of Speaker Mike Hubbard.”
Irony escapes Hubbard and his lead attorney Bill Baxley, who, for several years, have accused this publication of lying, collaborating and worse.
Hubbard’s team chides Judge Walker for allowing evidence which was “manifestly inappropriate under Alabama’s law of evidence.” They also charge Judge Walker granted Sumner authority to “usurp the Court’s function” in an “impermissible and prejudicial,” way. The motion further states, “Such testimony is all the more impermissible and prejudicial, of course, where the witness is wrong about the law in any respect. And that is the case here, as will be shown in the subsequent section of this motion dealing with the judgment of acquittal.”
The defense claims the prosecution failed to disclose Sumner as an expert witness during discovery, and the court failed in its responsibilities when it denied “Governor Bob Riley with similar questions to those asked of Sumner, despite the fact that Governor Riley called the Special Session and proposed the very ethics reform legislation at issue.”
If Judge Walker refuses to grant Hubbard an acquittal based on Sumner’s testimony, they are requesting a new trial citing juror misconduct. Last month, Hubbard sought an investigation into jury misconduct.
Hubbard’s defense believes he deserves a new trial because Judge Walker refused a plea for a continuance, and because “the verdict is contrary to law and to the weight of the evidence.”
Hubbard, who remains free on an appeal bond, continues to visit Montgomery, being recently spotted at the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) headquarters.
In several meetings, Hubbard has repeated charges of political prosecution by a power-hungry Attorney General, and a rogue prosecutor, according to individuals who attended meetings with the former Speaker.
A highly respected defense attorney and former prosecutor agree attacking Judge Walker is not a winning strategy for the convicted felon Hubbard.