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Alabama Gambling Trial Jury Again Having Problems Reaching Verdict

The frustration level is again growing in Alabama where a jury is deliberating to seal the fate of VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor and six other defendants in a gambling corruption case. The jury started deliberations on Wednesday, and by Friday, no verdict had been reached, leaving many to wonder whether this trial will end similar to the last.

In the first trial last year, a jury could not reach a consensus regarding the innocence of guilt of McGregor and the other defendants. The prosecution chose to ask for a re-trial, and that began last month. Many of the same witnesses testified in the case, and the defense again attacked the credibility of the most crucial witness in the case, Country Crossings developer Ronnie Gilley.

The case evolved out of a bribery scheme in which Gilley offered cash to state senators in exchange for votes on a controversial gambling bill in Alabama. While the Senate passed the bill, the legislation did not make it passed the Senate. Gilley has already pleaded guilty in the bribery scheme, as have several senators and lobbyists.

McGregor has claimed all along that the scheme was concocted by Gilley, and witnesses have collaborated that version. Gilley, however, paints a picture of a partnership between himself and McGregor in the bribery scheme. The first jury could not find enough evidence to support Gilley's version, and the case ended in a mistrial.

US District Judge Myron Thompson sent the jury back to deliberations on Friday, instructing them to continue to discuss the trial and attempt to come to a verdict. The jury will meet for three hours on Saturday morning, before breaking for the day. The defendants in the case have been patiently awaiting their fate since Wednesday, and it now appears the trial may last into a new week.

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