TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Day three of Larry Langford's federal corruption trial will soon begin. On Wednesday, prosecutors are expected to call more witnesses.
On Tuesday, court began with opening statements that were a big contrast. Prosecutors laid out the outline of their theory that Langford took bribes in exchange for giving Bill Blount county bond business.
Langford's attorney Mike Rasmussen used props in his opening. Rasmussen even stacked up boxes in front of the jury to represent the 7 million dollars Blount made from the deals and contrasted it with one small box representing the 240-thousand in gifts or loans Langford received. Langford's attorneys told jurors Blount was the mastermind of a scheme Langford knew nothing about. They added that Blount manipulated Langford and that this whole scheme was "a stab in the back and a deal with the devil."
Blount's former girlfriend, who worked at a Colonial Bank in Montgomery, testified about arranging a loan for Langford at Blount's request and showed an email with Blount that said Victoryland owner Milton McGregor would call Colonial CEO Bobby Lowder to try and help arrange a new loan. That loan was never approved by Lowder.
Much of the afternoon was spent detailing Langford's clothing purchases paid for by Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre. The day ended with former County Finance director Steve Saylor on the stand to explain how county finances work. At one point, 2 jurors nodded off during part of that testimony.
Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones says this case doesn't have to be complicated. "This case is not about crazy bond swaps and interest rate swaps. In its simplest form it's a pay for play and either the jury sees that or they don't, so I think it can be very simple," said Jones.