Monday, October 22, 2007
Ex-Tx Southern pres. could be tried again in March
Ousted TSU President Priscilla Slade's attorney said today he's not sure he'll be able to represent her again if prosecutors insist on retrying his client on financial mismanagement charges.
Defense attorney Mike DeGeurin said he remains hopeful that prosecutors will dismiss charges alleging Slade spent more than $500,000 of Texas Southern University's money on personal expenses.
"This case should not be retried," DeGeurin said. "I hope that when the dust settles, reason will prevail and there will be no need for another trial."
Prosecutors said they would not consider dismissing the charges.
"There's no chance that will happen," Assistant District Attorney Donna Goode said.
State District Judge Brock Thomas said he was considering setting the retrial for March 24, but DeGuerin said he could not yet commit to a second trial because of obligations to other clients.
Thomas scheduled a Nov. 9 hearing to give DeGeurin time to decide.
DeGeurin represented Slade in the two-month trial that ended a week ago in a mistrial after the jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked at 6 to 6.
If convicted, Slade faces a punishment ranging from probation to life in prison for the first degree felony.
DeGeurin has maintained that no crime was committed, that Slade was using university money to enhance TSU's image in the community and to court donors. The state's largest historically black university has long suffered financial hardship, testimony showed.
Jurors deliberated almost a week before being dismissed. The jury's foreman said the jurors who voted not guilty wanted to know more about how the checks and balances in the process were circumvented before convicting.
Posted by da rattler at 12:21 AM