LaPierre: "I'm not the guy feeding junk to the junkie"

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Lobbyist Al LaPierre took the stand on Friday in the Larry Langford federal corruption trial, testifying about his role in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy and fraud between Langford, LaPierre and Montgomery businessman Bill Blount.

During his testimony, LaPierre explained how Langford called him in desperation for a $69,000 loan to pay off debts. LaPierre said he then approached Blount for the cash, but Blount told him he could not pay the loan because of federal rules. That is when LaPierre said he became the go-between between Langford and Blount for the money.

Langford attorney Glennon Threatt strongly questioned LaPierre Friday afternoon on his motives and his previous guilty with prosecutors.  Threatt asked LaPierre if he and Blount decided to pay off Langford's clothing debt at Remon's to manipulate Langford and Langford's addition to clothing and gambling.

"We did it to protect him," LaPierre responded, but added, "I'm not the guy feeding junk to the junkie."

LaPierre and Blount both plead guilty to charges in the case earlier this year in exchange for their cooperation with prosecutors.  On the stand Friday, LaPierre admitted he bribed Langford and broke the law.

"When did you decide to break the law?" Threatt asked.

"I guess when I took the note out," LaPierre answered.

"When did Langford decide to break law?" Threatt asked.

"When he took the loan," LaPierre answered.

Threatt pounds table, asking, "Did Langford ask for a cut? Did you offer Langford a percentage of the deals?"

"No," said LaPierre.

"Was there ever an express agreement to break the law?" Threatt asked.

"Not until we signed the notes," LaPierre answered.

After attorneys finished questioning LaPierre Friday afternoon, the judge recessed the court.

Earlier in the day, Blount testified he hoped to get lucrative bond work when he began giving money to Langford.

Defense attorneys had still not said whether Langford will testify in his own behalf. Judge John Carroll from the Samford Cumberland School of Law said it would not be the best move for the defense.

"I think there are so many bad things that can happen with the defendant on the stand in a case like this that the risk far outweighs the benefit,"  Carroll said.

However, Judge Carroll did say he believes Mayor Langford will end up taking the stand.

Testimony will resume Monday morning at 9 a.m.