MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson and her legal team entered the federal building on Monday hours after a federal judge granted a motion to acquit her on 15 of the 20 charges that she faces.
Robinson was accused of stealing $ 600,000 in federal grants supposed to go to his school, The Healthcare Institute, for personal expenses.
The judge released his ruling on Sunday night after the defense requested a motion for acquittal. It comes after prosecutors finished their case on Thursday.
After the jury left for the day, Robinson’s lawyers requested an acquittal and the charges dropped, saying the government had failed to prove their case.
According to her indictment, the charges she still faces relate to wire fraud. The charges of theft and embezzlement involving government programs have been dropped.
The judge gave an explanation for his decision on Monday. She cited the government’s various theories as to how Robinson is accused of embezzling funds.
She explained how she found issues with the early theory that Robinson was using grant funds to pay for expenses. She gave an example of calculations from an FBI accountant that were not supported by the evidence. For the government’s second theory that Robinson paid THI’s expenses with THI’s money, she ultimately said there was insufficient evidence to support this theory. She says these shifting theories would cause the trial to be overturned.
Mathew Jehl, one of Robinson’s attorneys, made several statements that he said he wanted to put on the record in case there was an appeal. One of the statements called on the court to grant an annulment of the trial with prejudice. This means that he would be permanently sacked.
The judge replied that she did not believe that the prosecution had acted in bad faith, saying: “This is a unique situation that has troubled everyone” and “If you ask for an annulment of the trial, it will be an annulment. of the trial and a resumption. ”
Robinson’s team said they were not asking for the trial to be set aside and wanted to move forward with the trial.
The judge ordered lawyers working on the case not to speak to the media.
Tennessee Representative GA Hardaway was one of many local lawmakers in the courtroom. He told us that he had come to support his colleague.
“Make sure she knows that we all believe in the American justice system that you are innocent until proven guilty. And we think her personal, professional and political future is bright,” he said. he declares.
Hardaway admits it was damaging to have to fight these charges, but he believes justice will prevail and believes the judge was right to dismiss the charges she dismissed.
The jury will return tomorrow afternoon with new instructions because the charges in this case have changed.
The defense should then start calling its witnesses.
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