Hubbard evidence hearing begins; allegations of corrupted files, misconduct

Hubbard evidence hearing begins; allegations of corrupted files, misconduct

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) – An Alabama Crimson Tide highlight video and footage of an elderly woman dancing seem to have nothing to do with the felony corruption case against Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.

Still, those videos were turned over as evidence by the Attorney General's office to Hubbard's defense team on Wednesday, and Judge Jacob Walker viewed them during the critical evidentiary hearing at the Lee County Justice Center ahead of Hubbard's trial on 23 felony ethics charges.

An estimated 2.5 million pages of discovery documents were turned over to the defense in this case - enough to fill about two semi-trucks if the documents were printed out.

The defense still maintains the discovery provided to them by the state is incomplete, and evidence possibly supporting Hubbard's defense is unreadable because of how the files are formatted.

A computer expert testified for the defense that he was concerned the AG's office did not make sure the documents could be traced back, and therefore, verified as unaltered when the files were converted.

The discovery also contained several internet videos - one of a football play and an elderly lady dancing - that seem to have nothing to do with the case.

Former Attorney General Troy King was at Wednesday's hearing and reacted to the videos.

"It's irresponsible and sloppy that they would have turned over personal - videos internet, [and] videos of football games. I don't understand how that would have been turned over, I would expect you would want to be scrupulous and make sure you are not turning over improper documents," King said. "It just leaves the question open what else has been produced that shouldn't be produced."

The judge heard other arguments, including the state's motion to squash numerous defense witnesses saying Hubbard's team is fishing, and the witnesses have nothing to do with the charges against him.

The defense agues the witness's support their belief that Hubbard is the innocent victim of a political witch hunt. The defense has filed a motion to dismiss the case for prosecutorial misconduct – zeroing in on prosecutor Matt Hart.

The defense says Hart told a co-worker the way to make Hubbard plea was to "put a noose around his neck and squeeze." That motion will be heard at a later date, but was discussed in court on Wednesday.

The defense may try to call the prosecutor to the stand - and if the judge allows it - Hart would be removed as a prosecutor and transition into a witness.

The Attorney General's office has denied any misconduct, saying it's a baseless attack and Hubbard's way of deflecting attention from his wrongdoing when he used his public office time and time again to benefit personally and financially.

Stay tuned for further updates as the judge rules on the multiple motions argued in court on Wednesday.

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