Jury selection begins in Mike Hubbard case

Jury selection begins in Mike Hubbard case

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard sat inside a Lee County Courtroom on Monday as attorneys began to select the 12 men and women who will decide the powerful politician's future.

A year and a half after he was indicted on 23 felony charges, jury selection is finally underway. 

Openings could begin Monday or Tuesday of next week, if some sort of plea deal isn't made between the AG's office and Mike Hubbard's Defense team. While there have been rumors of a deal, nothing concrete has been confirmed.

What's expected to be a lengthy jury selection process began Monday morning, with about 140 potential Lee County Jurors.

Hubbard, faces 23 felony counts, including:

  • style="margin-left: 40px;">4 counts of using of his office as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party for personal gain
  • style="margin-left: 40px;">1 count of voting for legislation with a conflict of interest
  • style="margin-left: 40px;">11 counts of soliciting or receiving a thing of value from a lobbyist or principal
  • style="margin-left: 40px;">2 counts of using his office as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives for personal gain
  • style="margin-left: 40px;">4 counts of lobbying an executive department or agency for a fee
  • style="margin-left: 40px;">1 count of using state equipment, materials, etc. for private gain.

If convicted, the speaker faces up to 20 years in prison for each count and a fine of up to $30,000 for each count. 

Monday's session was about prosecutors and the defense getting to know these potential  jurors via questions. A key question came when the defense asking potential jurors if they had negative impressions of politicians.

Nearly half of the potential jurors raised their hands, affirming yes they did, causing most of the court to erupt in laughter.  Even Mike Hubbard, who has remained visibly calm during this first day, laughed along with the rest of the court.

The trial could last up to four weeks.

Video coverage of the trial is being limited by Judge Jacob Walker.  We are allowed to shoot opening statements and closing arguments. 

We have requested to video Speaker Hubbard's testimony, if he decides to take the stand in his own defense.

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