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2nd Day: 2 Days Jail, $2,000 … Each. Friday, 21 July 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political, Views On News.
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Former mayor Charles ‘JR’ Dougherty received 2 days in jail and a $2,000 fine for each of the 16 guilty verdicts he received in his second trial for alleged voter fraud. Thats a total of 32,000 in fines and 32 days jail time.

People I’ve spoken with claim that both Dougherty and his attorney, Carl McAfee, appeared devastated by the verdicts. In the first trial, Dougherty received two not guilty verdicts, which may have possibly raised expactations of a similar win in this trial.

Many media reports in the first trial had headlines stating such claims as ‘Former Mayor Found Not Guilty Of Buying Votes’ – in all truth, the not guilty verdicts meant that Dougherty was not found guilty of conspiracy to buy votes, which is not the same thing. He was acquited because there was no proof of conspiracy, not because there was insufficient proof regarding the buying and selling of votes.

This trial was not about conspiracy, but about acts that the one-time mayor allegedly committed, or aided and abetted others in committing. It was not about whether he conspired with anyone else to do these things.

One damaging event occured when Betty Pendleton, former clerk at the Scott County Registrar’s office, and sister to registrar Willie Mae Kilgore, pled the fifth. By asserting her fifth amendment right not to incriminate herself, Pendleton raised the possibility that there was something to be incriminated about to a near certainty. When Pendleton later testified that she and her sister did nothing wrong, that left only one possible person guilty of that something: Charles Doughtery.

Combined with testimony from people who said that Dougherty either filled out their paperwork for them, or instructed others to do so, that was enough to find him guilty of the charges lodged against him.

Although supoenaed yesterday by the court, Willie Mae Kilgore was not on hand and was not called upon to testify by McAfee.

Special Prosecutor Joel Branscombe left room to possibly level other felony charges in this case, against person other than Dougherty.

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