Witness testimony on tap in Shoffner trial - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Witness testimony on tap in Shoffner trial

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Source: KNOE File Source: KNOE File

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Prosecutors are scheduled to start calling witnesses in the federal bribery trial of former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner.

Each side gave opening statements Wednesday, with prosecutors saying Shoffner engaged in bribery and extortion in accepting $36,000 from bond dealer Steele Stephens, who is being given immunity for his testimony.

But Shoffner's attorney, Chuck Banks, told jurors the charges shouldn't have been filed and said she should only have faced a complaint before the state Ethics Commission for failing to report a gift.

Shoffner resigned last year after she was arrested. She had planned to plead guilty but refused during the hearing to admit that the payments affected her conduct as treasurer.

The sides picked a jury in about three hours on Wednesday. Trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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