Sunshine Trial: Case Handed Over To The Jury

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- On Thursday, nearly three weeks into the New Sentinel Sunshine Trial, the defense rested its case.

Now the jury could begin deliberating as early as Monday.

Before they wrapped up, the plaintiff's called one last commissioner to the stand for a rebuttal.

When Greg "Lumpy" Lambert took to the stand, he marked the 26th past or present commissioners to testify in the trial.

Commissioner Tony Norman also testified today, calling the commission "dysfunctional," back in January and still to that day.

Lambert said there are many clicks within the commission including a Sheriff's click and a Mayor's click.

"This was one of the toughest things I ever dealt with in my entire life," Lambert said.

Some may say the plaintiff attorneys saved the best for last.

"The press was there, the sunshine was shining," he said.

Commissioner Lambert was talking about the sunshine on January 31st that Richard Hollow says wasn't shining out in the open.

"It had to filter itself through the back wall and filter itself out into the hallway," said Richard Hollow, the plaintiff's attorney.

Lambert admitted there was some arm twisting among some commissioners during recesses, but said he didn't consider it backroom dealings.

"That’s what you've been told?" asked Hollow, "never admit you deliberated, because that might be something that might get you in trouble in this lawsuit?"

"If a conversation between two people is deliberation, than I deliberated," Lambert said.

Lambert told the jury he still doesn't know where his January cell phone records are, but Herb Moncier showed him more than 7 hours of phone conversation on Scott Moore's records and Lambert couldn't deny it.

"Was your tongue wagging to Chairman Moore about the appointments of the Knox County Commissioners?," Hollow asked. "Yes or no and you are under oath?

"Yes," Lambert said.

In addition to Scott Moore, Lambert also said he spoke with Paul Pinkston about candidates.

Both Moore and Pinkston denied any such thing on the stand.

On Friday, all of the attorneys will formulate charges and come up with instructions for the jury.

The jury gets Friday off and could hear closing arguments as early as Monday.

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