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.
"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."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.