After speculation Thursday followed by a statement from Judge Barbara Lynn this afternoon regarding a potential appearance by defendant Sheila Hill as a witness in the City Hall corruption trial, we asked her attorney, Victor Vital, if she will take the stand in her defense. Vital tells us he indeed has plans to call Hill as one of his four witnesses, stressing that she won't be testifying to exonerate herself. She'll be trying to save her reputation.
"You might recall O.J. Simpson was found not guilty, but the questions loomed because he didn't testify: Is he really innocent, or did the government not prove their case?" Vital says.
Vital's convinced that if the trial concluded today, his client would be exonerated because of her constitutional right to have evidence presented beyond a reasonable doubt, which he says the prosecution has failed to do thus far.
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"What she wants to do, however, is tell her side of the story so the public knows she was not taking money without doing work; she was not taking money to facilitate a quid pro quo," Vital says. "She was taking money to fulfill a passionate desire of hers to help those who are underprivileged in society."