Stevens trial dismissed early today

Last night prosecutors in the case of Senator Ted Stevens turned over evidence that Stevens lawyers say would have changed their entire case. It’s a statement by Bill Allen saying if Stevens had gotten a bill from Veco, he likely would have paid it.

The judge called it gross negligence and has stopped court proceedings for the day.

The prosecution was supposed to turn over all such information to the defense earlier. Prosecutor Brenda Morris says it was a “mistake” that they did not do so.

Steven’s lead lawyer is demanding that the judge dismiss the case or declare a mistrial.

The judge was furious with prosecutors this morning, demanding to know why the mistake happened. Brenda Morris apologized but would not say who on her team made the error.

Morris contends that Stevens’ lawyers had all the information they needed to make their case, even if they didn’t have Allen’s specific statement. She said her team realized last night that they had not turned the information over, and did so. However the judge said, “the defendant shouldn’t have to depend on the luck of the draw for a fair trial.”

The judge has ordered both sides to argue their cases on paper today. Meanwhile the jury is being told they can go home for the day.

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC