Walter Reed's ex-wife takes the stand in his defense

Reed Trial: First day of defense testimony

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Walter Reed's ex-wife took the stand in his corruption trial Wednesday to defend her former husband. Shawn Reed was one of many witnesses Reed's attorneys called on the first day the defense presented its case.

Shawn Reed said while she was married to Walter Reed, he was always "on display." Testifying about parties the two held at their home, inviting both politicians and their families, Reed said "The whole idea is to keep in touch with your constituents."

Walter Reed seemed pleased with his ex-wife's testimony while leaving the federal courthouse.

"She told the truth, and that's what I expected from her," Reed said.

Also on the stand Wednesday, 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, and not as D.A.

Some of the more dramatic testimony came from Reed's former first assistant, Harry Pastuszeck. Pastuszeck, under cross examination by prosecutors, had to take a moment to compose himself after raising his voice at AUSA Jordan Ginsberg when Ginsberg questioned how much money Pastuszeck raked in each year between his job at the D.A.'s office and acting as general counsel for the St. Tammany School Board - a position Walter Reed helped him obtain.

But the big question Wednesday evening after a day full of defense witnesses: Will Walter Reed take the stand?

When asked if he'd like to get on the stand to defend himself, Reed replied, "I'm gonna let that decision be made by my lawyer."

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti explained, "I would think they've considered this long and hard and I really wouldn't be surprised if he does take the witness stand to defend himself basically considering what was done through the prosecution's case."

Reed faces 19 corruption charges in all. His son, Steven, is also on trial.

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