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Closing Arguments Made In Alabama Gambling Corruption Trial

The gambling corruption case that has been at the center of attention in Alabama over the past year turned for home on Tuesday when defense attorneys gave the closing arguments in the case. Lawyers for Milton McGregor and four other defendants took turns ripping apart the prosecution's case.

McGregor is the owner of VictoryLand, a gaming entertainment center in Alabama. The gaming hall owner was accused of bribing senators in exchange for positive votes on a gambling bill last year. The bill passed the Senate, but was soundly defeated in the House, leading to an investigation of unsavory behavior by McGregor and Country Crossings developer Ronnie Gilley.

The first attempt at prosecution of McGregor ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to break a deadlock. The hung jury left the prosecution having to start over with their case in front of a new set of jurors. The re-trial that began earlier this year is nearing completion, with McGregor's attorneys and the prosecution likely making closing statements Wednesday morning. At that time, the jury will be dismissed to a room to determine the fate of the accused.

The case gained national exposure last year after Gilley pleaded guilty to bribing senators for their votes. McGregor has maintained his innocence and lawyers for McGregor have asserted throughout the trial that Gilley was the mastermind behind the bribery scheme. On Tuesday, the defense painted a picture of a desperate man that was looking to have his sentence reduced, leading Gilley to cooperate with the prosecution of McGregor.

Former Governor Robert Riley called the gambling bill corrupt while it was in the process of being debated by lawmakers last year. Riley had been put on notice that he may have had to take the stand in the case, but the prosecution and defense teams did not call the former governor.

The remaining defendants have all collaborated a story of Gilley being the person responsible for the bribes. At the time, Gilley had an investment team for Country Crossings that included several high profile NFL players. Gilley has testified that McGregor also was on board with the bribery scheme, and the defense has worked to raise doubt as to the credibility of Gilley as a witness.

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