TALLAHASSEE — As the legislative session's second week winds down, public and media attention will shift from the Capitol to a courthouse across the street.
That's where former House Speaker Ray Sansom of Destin will stand trial next week on grand theft and conspiracy charges stemming from his role in allegedly steering tax money to a project benefiting a friend and political supporter, developer Jay Odom, who will stand trial as well.
The trial takes on added drama because a third defendant, former Northwest College State College president Bob Richburg, has turned state's evidence in exchange for his charges being dismissed. He will be the star prosecution witness against Sansom and Odom.
Jury selection will take place today in Circuit Judge Terry Lewis' third-floor courtroom. A six-person jury will decide the fate of Sansom and Odom, and the trial should take a week.