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Defense witness objects to prosecutor's tempo and tone

Prosecutor Jay Pruner didn't make fast friends with a certain defense witness during a trial this week in a case of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.

At one point during cross-examination, the witness, Robert Woods, told Pruner to "hurry up" with his questions.

He called Pruner a "smart a--."

Defense attorney Ronald Kurpiers II made light of the name-calling during his closing argument, saying he would have expected that name to be used to describe him instead.

During his closing remarks, Pruner used the statement to drive home his point about the witness' credibility.

"It's probably one of the more accurate things he recalls," the prosecutor said.

• • •

Three Hillsborough judges made the short list Friday to fill retiring Judge E.J. Salcines' 2nd District Court of Appeal seat.

Circuit Judges Anthony Black, Marva Crenshaw and Richard Nielsen made the list of finalists forwarded to the governor.

The other finalists: Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nelly Khouzam; Diana Kay Bock, a lawyer with the Attorney General's Office in Tampa; and C. Thomas Davidson, an attorney with the McWhirter Reeves & Davidson firm in Tampa.

Salcines retires in July.

• • •

A civil rights lawyer who represented minority students in a landmark case involving the University of Michigan's affirmative action admission policy will headline the George Edgecomb Bar Association's Law Week Scholarship Banquet this year.

Theodore M. Shaw is a professor at Columbia Law School and the former president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He will give the keynote speech at the April 28 dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tampa.

The Annual Law Week Scholarship Banquet is the signature event of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, Tampa's largest organization of predominantly African-American lawyers.

The association is celebrating its 25th anniversary of working to help minorities advance in the legal profession.

Members of the public are invited to attend the banquet. Tickets are $60. For information, contact Monica Williams at or Stacey Harris at

Got a tip? For cops news, contact Abbie VanSickle at or (813) 226-3373. For courts news, contact Colleen Jenkins at or (813) 226-3337.

Defense witness objects to prosecutor's tempo and tone 04/05/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 5, 2008 11:52pm]
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