Former DA takes the stand in his federal corruption trial

Published: Apr. 30, 2016 at 12:34 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2016 at 2:15 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The federal corruption trial of former North Shore district attorney Walter Reed and his son will soon be in the hands of the jury. Reed took the stand Friday before the defense rested its case.

Reed was on the stand for hours giving his side of the story. He's accused of spending thousands of dollars of campaign money for personal use. The prosecution says he bought flowers for women he found attractive, expensive meals for his family and friends and funneled payments to his son, Steven.

When the prosecutor asked Reed about buying flowers for women, Reed said,"Ladies like flowers, and ladies get people elected more than anyone else."

Reed admitted he made mistakes but said he was a long-time politician who campaigned every day.

After Reed, the defense called to the stand Gray Sexton, who is a former attorney for the State Board of Ethics. Sexton testified as an expert in campaign finance law, and said campaign expenditures can be made for personal use as long as it's related to holding office or getting elected to office. But, the prosecution argued Sexton was not an expert in federal criminal law.

We talked with Reed and his attorney, Rick Simmons, as they left court Friday night.

"We're pleased with today. We finally got the other side of the story, so, anyway we will be in Monday morning for closing arguments and we hope to have it to the jury sometime Monday," said Simmons.

Reed faces charges of conspiracy, money laundering, mail and wire fraud as well as filing false statements on his tax returns. As for how the jury responded to Reed's testimony, he and his attorney say they'll just have to wait to see what happens.

"We'll see. Hey y'all - peace and love, peace and love all," said Reed.

Before jurors went home for the weekend, the judge instructed them to stay away from media coverage of the trial. Closing arguments will start Monday morning. The jury is expected to have the case before noon.

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