On Wednesday morning, August 11, Greenetrack CEO Luther “Nat” Winn was acquitted in the Greene County District Court of the charge of reckless endangerment in the takeover of Greenetrack by Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force.
He and the Greenetrack employees and supporters who were jailed for Obstructing a Government Operation earlier that same morning had all charges dismissed when District Attorney Greg Griggers informed District Judge Lillie Jones-Osborne that the plaintiffs, Bob Riley and John Tyson, had not responded to any of his requests for documentation of the offense. “The only thing they said was that I would get the requested information at a later date, so I have no documentation of probable cause.”
Following that decision, the trial against Winn began, with Alabama State Trooper Michelle Garcia as the plaintiff.
Garcia alleged that at approximately 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 30 Winn had struck her with the outside mirror on his truck as he entered Greenetrack.
There were only two witnesses called to the stand during the 2 1/2 hour trial.
Garcia testified that she was one of the 100+ State Troopers assigned to take over Greenetrack.
She said she and a fellow State Trooper were at the front entrance to Greenetrack and refused to allow Winn to enter because his name was not on a list of those approved to be on the property. At that point, according to Garcia, Winn pulled out at a high rate of speed and hit her shoulder with the outside truck mirror.
Although Garcia was not hurt, did not seek medical aid, nor take time off from work, the next day when Winn and the others were arrested for obstructing a governmental operation, she filed the reckless endangerment charges.
When Garcia took the witness stand on Wednesday, August 11, she related how Winn had deliberately hit her with the mirror. “It was not hard enough to break my shoulder, but he did hit me.” She indicated the incident had made her mad.
Griggers kept questioning Garcia and told Judge Osborne that even in this far more serious case, he had been furnished with little written evidence – not even a copy of any statements she had made to law enforcement.
Jim Sturdivant, attorney for Winn, questioned whether or not the incident met the criteria for the charge and kept going back to the fact that Garcia waited so long to file the charges.
“Didn’t you have other officers there to assist you in placing Winn under arrest?” asked Sturdivant, who had a Greenetrack security video which caught some of the incident playing for most of the trial,
Both Sturdivant and Griggers informed the witness of exactly what the charge of reckless endangerment meant. Griggers once again protested that he had no written substantiation of the charge and therefore could not produce the documentation requested by the defense.
After approximately two and one-half hours of testimony, Sturdivant made a motion that Winn be acquitted due to the fact that the prosecution could not produce documentation enough to substantiate a verdict of guilty of reckless endangerment.
Osborne agreed and the final verdict was an acquittal.
When the verdict was announced, spectators, most of whom had on green and white T-shirts bearing the slogan Jobs and Justice, began applauding
Weather for Eutaw, Ala. Monday Tuesday WednesdayPartly Cloudy91/68Partly Cloudy90/68Chance of a Thunderstorm88/66
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TagsAlabama New South Coalition ANSC Bingo disbursement Black Farmer Lawsuit CEO Luther"Nat" Winn CFO Paula Bird Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Dr. Martin Luther King Eutaw City Council Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA) Federation of Southern Cooperatives /Land Assistance Fund Fund First Lady Michelle Obama George Zimmerman Greene Co. Sheriff Joe Benison Greene County Board of Education Greene County Commission Greene County Commissioner Greene County High School Greene County School System Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison Greene County Superintendent Dr. Emma Louie Greenetrack Greenetrack Bingo Inc John Zippert Jr. Lester Brown Mayor Hattie Edwards Mayor Pro-Tem Hattie Edwards Mayor Raymond Steele Mitt Romney NAACP Nick Underwood President Barack Obama President Obama Rev. Al Sharpton SCLC Senator Hank Sanders Superintendent Emma Louie Superintendent Isaac Atkins Supreme Court The Black Belt Community Foundation BBCF Grants Trayvon Martin Vice President Joe Biden