Highlights from trial: Former Arkansas state treasurer found guilty

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV/AP) - Former Arkansas state treasurer Martha Shoffner was facing 14 federal bribery and extortion counts, and just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, she was found guilty on all of those. She was arrested in 2013 after prosecutors said a bond broker wore a listening device as he delivered $6,000 in a pie box to Shoffner.

Here are highlights from each day of her trial:

Tues. March 11

  • Jury convicts Shoffner of federal bribery and extortion charges.
  • Defense rested without calling any witnesses to testify.
  • Case was given to jurors Tuesday afternoon.
  • The judge must now rule on a motion to acquit filed by defense lawyers, who argues that the government didn't prove key elements of its case.

Mon. March 10

  • Bond broker Steele Stephens, who was given immunity by the FBI, testifies he benefited by giving Shoffner money, getting twice as much state business as any other broker.
  • End of prosecution questioning: Steele said he got about $2.5 million in commissions over the four years he was making payments.
  • Prosecution rested their case.
  • Defense claimed prosecution didn't prove its case, asked for acquittal.
  • U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes said he would withhold judgement until after jurors deliberate.

Fri. March 7

  • Stephens testifies he gave Shoffner $6,000 at her office because she needed help.
  • Stephens testifies that Shoffner told him her mother had recently died, recently lost her apartment, state car.
  • He said he felt sorry for her, money would be good for business.
  • Stephens testified that the first transaction happened at the State Capitol, Shoffner reportedly said "I hope there's no cameras in here."

Thurs. March 6

  • Chief deputy treasurer Debbie Rogers testifies Shoffner would make the decisions about which bond traders the state would use for particular transactions.
  • Rogers testified bond dealer Steele Stephens had about twice as much state business as the other 10 or so approved dealers.

Wed. March 5

  • Bond broker revealed as Steele Stephens.
  • Stephens allegedly paid Shoffner $36,000 to steer state business his way.
  • Shoffner's attorney Chuck Banks said charges shouldn't have been filed, Shoffner should only face a complaint before Ethics Committee for failing to report a gift.

More Shoffner headlines:

Contributing source: The Associated Press


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