Testimony in the trial of David Brooks, which started with opening statements on Jan. 25, 2010, in federal district court in Central Islip, Long Island, ended this past Tuesday, July 13. After the defense rested its case, the prosecution recalled one defense witness and rested its case as well.
Assistant United States Attorney Richard Lunger of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York told harnessracing.com on Friday morning, July16, that summations by both sides are expected to be given next week. After that, the case will be given to the jury for a verdict. Citing office policy, Lunger said he was unable to comment any further on the case.
According to Newsday.com’s Robert Kessler, who has covered the trial throughout, the prosecution called 46 witnesses. Those witnesses included members of the harness racing community such as trainers Brett Pelling and Carl Conte and horse agent Charles Karp.
Florida vet Seth Fishman, who testified before federal judge Joanna Seybert about David Brooks’s inquiries of him (Fishman) for a pill that could make a potential witness forget what she knew (identified as Dawn Schlegel, the government’s key witness, who has worked out a plea deal with the government), never actually testified before the jury. In addition, New Jersey state police informant Glenn Hartung, who was alleged by the government to have done “informant work related to doping race horses” in New Jersey, never was called to testify at the trial.
The defense team for David Brooks called 15 witnesses and the defense team for co-defendant Sandra Hatfield called 11 witnesses, according to Newsday.com.
Brooks’s defense is essentially that he had carte blanche from DHB Industries to spend millions of dollars of company money for his personal expenses, including millions for his successful harness racing empire. He is also accused, as part of the 17-count indictment, of artificially pumping up the stock of DHB and then selling it, making $185 million in the process, allegations which defendant Brooks denies in their entirety.
While nobody ever knows what a jury is going to do, we should have the answer to that very important question within the next two weeks or so.—By Steve Kallas