Nearly a dozen witnesses testify for Walter Reed defense

Nearly a dozen witnesses testify for Walter Reed defense

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Lawyers for former North Shore district attorney Walter Reed called witnesses all day Wednesday, trying to disprove the government's case against them.

Among their first witnesses were a longtime Reed secretary and Mardi Gras Indian Dwight Carter.

Carter testified about numerous campaign events for Reed. He said that he and his tribe earned $1,700 for a 2011 campaign event at the Castine Center where singer Christopher Cross also performed. Carter said Steven Reed was a good event producer, who he wouldn't mind being in a foxhole with during war.

Also on the stand was longtime Reed secretary Jean Young, who had trouble remembering typing a letter to the St. Tammany Hospital board chairman back in 1996. That letter sought to have the board correct language that would allow Reed to be paid for hospital legal services personally - not in his capacity as D.A.

While the defense called nearly a dozen witnesses Wednesday, it's still not clear if Walter Reed will take the stand.

"The jury will be instructed that they are not to penalize someone if they don't testify," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. But they probably want to hear from him, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does take the stand."

Also on the stand was Martha Elliott, who worked in Reed's D.A.'s office. She testified about attending a several campaign functions. She also attended a high-priced Thanksgiving dinner paid for by the Reed campaign fund. Elliott testified that she was thrilled to get those invitations because she didn't have much family.

Walter Reed and his son are charged in a 19-count indictment with illegally profiting from campaign funds.  Four of the counts focus solely on Steven Reed.

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