Former DA Armando Villalobos takes the stand in his own defense
Thu, 23 May 2013 00:29:10 GMT —
After nearly nine days of testimony, jurors were finally able to hear from Armando Villalobos himself.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen told the defense that he wanted Villalobos on this stand by the end of the day.
Five witnesses also testified for the defense.
The five witnesses that testified for the defense include former DA prosecutor Lawrence Rabb, expert financial witness Max Wayman, attorney Leo Rincones, Department of Justice investigator Pete Steves and former prosecutor Gaby Garcia.
Former DA Armando Villalobos also took the stand in his own defense.
Some of the most telling testimony perhaps came from Max Wayman, a former IRS criminal investigator.
He told jurors that after reviewing bank records, money orders and cash deposits made by Villalobos, he could not find any significant patterns showing illegal activity involving money.
He told jurors it was unlikely Villalobos was stashing cash because his transactions showed purchases for small amounts, got credit card advances with high interest, and was consistent with ATM withdrawals.
However, federal prosecutors argued that Wayman is a paid expert witness and has worked with lead defense attorney Joel Androphy before.
Villalobos took the stand right before 4:30 p.m.
The defense started by establishing Villalobos hometown roots highlighting his upbringing in San Benito and his work at the District Attorney TMs office.
Villalobos testified that when he worked at the DA TMs office and at one point he worked in Limas' court.
He said they clashed because Limas had a very unconventional way of doing things and was often too lenient.
Villalobos said he ran for Cameron County District Attorney back in 2004 because he did not think former DA Yolanda De Leon was running things well.
He says he was a novice and received campaign input from Limas, attorney Oscar de la Fuente, attorney Peter Zavalet and even Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez.
Villalobos testified about the many changes he implemented in the DA TMs office.
He told jurors the changes will be important to keep in mind when he testifies on cases brought to light during this trial.