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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Live blogging the Sansom trial -- Day 5

25

March

Day 5 of the Ray Sansom-Jay Odom trial. Recap of yesterday here.

12:24 p.m.: The prosecution's case is not reaching muster with one person in the court -- Judge Terry Lewis. After extensive arguments he said, "I don't think you have enough to show a conspiracy." What happens after lunch is a critical point for State Attorney Willie Meggs.

The prosecution contends it can still brings its witnesses, but the bar just got a lot higher.

11:45 a.m.: Jury is out, but lawyers still in court. Prosecution is preparing to bring ex-college president Bob Richburg, who was charged with Sansom and Odom but has agreed to testify. To show a conspiracy, the prosecution is laying out is evidence, including e-mail from Richburg to Sansom before Sansom got the $6 million discussing the airport building and Odom's involvement.

11:40 a.m.: Meggs is doing redirect on Dowling. He showed him the "boring" section of a report the defense highlighted (but not that part) to show educational and other use. The paperwork shows "aircraft hangar" was part of the design, which Dowling acknowledged.

11 a.m.: Cross of Dowling continues. Sansom attorney Steve Dobson is showing him documents about planning for emergency response in mid-2008, laying groundwork for his argument that Sansom had nothing to do with the building other than getting the money. Yesterday, State Attorney Willie Meggs showed minutes from a Dec. 10, 2008, meeting chaired by Sansom about the building and he got a witness to say Sansom was "absolutely" involved. But Dobson today is trying to show that that meeting was just about who would put equipment inside, not about the design.

10:38 a.m.: A 15 minute break has been called.dowling.jpg

9:10 a.m.: Jim Dowling, the architect the college picked for the airport building, is on the stand. Meggs had him read papers that referred to a "pre-existing development order," which was Jay Odom's. Meggs is trying to show the jury the overlaps between Odom's hangar and the college building.

Meggs showed Dowling e-mails between Dowling and Jason Carter, an employee of Odom. In one, Dowling asks if "multiple" aircraft will be stored in the hangar and if so, the flooring design would have to change. "Yes, there will most likely be multiple aircraft in the large hangar," Carter replied on Dec. 3, 2008. Dowling then informed the college the floor would have to changed to a slope design and that would cause construction problems.

Another email -- From Feb. 13, 2009 -- was shown to the jury that showed Dowling was requested to change the plans to change the word "hangar" to "staging area." Meggs says it's sign of a cover-up since the news media had begun questioning the airport building. Dowling also acknowledged that building classrooms at an airport was a challenge because of sound issues.

On cross exam, Odom attorney Jimmy Judkins displayed the college description calling for a 24,000 square foot "special purpose center" with classroom space and for emergency vehicle storage. Once the college took over Odom's development order, it ceased to be Odom's project, Judkins said. "Correct," Dowling said.

Trying to blunt a word that's getting tossed around a lot this morning, Judkins asked if "hangar" is a dirty word. Dowling said to him it was a general description of a big, open space.

 

[Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 6:43pm]

    

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