Jonesboro Mayors attorney’s once again ask for a mistrial - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Jonesboro Mayors attorney’s once again ask for a mistrial

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JONESBORO, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Arguments are heating up in the trial of Jonesboro mayor Leslie Thompson. During cross examination of the town's former fiscal administrator the judge had to intervene. Our Nolan Crane was in the courtroom.

The trial has not been going as fast as some people would like. Thompson's lawyers spent today cross examining more state witnesses. For a second day in a row they asked for a mistrial. The judge was quick to say no!

Attorney Carol Powell Lexing cross examined former Jonesboro Fiscal Administrator William Ryder. She asked him about allegations he made that Thompson, as the town's CEO allowed six part time employees to receive full time benefits. Lexing says Ryder's opinion is based on a mathematical equation that doesn't add up. The courtroom got heated when Lexing interrupted Ryder's testimony multiple times

"You know, we are as lawyers in charge with the responsibility of zealously representing are clients and that is what I am just honoring my responsibility," said Carol Powell Lexing.

Attorney's also questioned Ryder on comments he made about Mayor Thompson being uncooperative and hard to get in contact with. Based on that testimony Thompson's attorney again asked the judge to grant a mistrial. The judge disagreed, but Lexing vows to keep pushing for a mistrial.

"The judge denied the motion but as I stated yesterday, we will seek a higher authority," said Lexing.

This trial might not end as soon as Thompson's lawyers wish, but they remain optimistic for an outcome in their favor.

"The wheels of justice do not move fast," said Lexing.

Mayor Thompson is charged with three felony counts of malfeasance in office with a potential penalty of 15 years in prison. Allegations against him include driving a city vehicle for personal use without reimbursement to the city, not cooperating with state auditors and providing full time benefits to part time employees.

So far only witnesses for the state have testified. Thompson's lawyers hope to start calling some of their 32 witnesses as early as tomorrow.

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