Day 2 of ballot fraud trial starts Tuesday morning - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Day 2 of ballot fraud trial starts Tuesday morning

Posted:
Owen "Butch" Morgan/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department Owen "Butch" Morgan/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department
Dustin Blythe/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept. Dustin Blythe/Courtesy: St. Joseph County Sheriff's Dept.

It's day 2 of the trial for the former chairman of the Saint Joseph County Democratic Party.  Day 1 included jury selection

Butch Morgan and 3 other voter registration employees are accused of forging signatures on election petitions in 2008. Last week one of the co-defendants, Pam Brunette, pled guilty to 3 of the 6 counts against her.

They were reportedly trying to get Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Indiana Primary ballot.  They're being charged with 14 counts of forgery.

Tuesday began with opening arguments. The prosecution argues that Butch Morgan told voter registration workers "don't worry about it" when he said to copy signatures onto election petitions in 2008. The prosecution says the jury will hear from Lucas Burkett, Pamela Brunette, and Beverly Shelton who will testify that Morgan had encouraged them to forge the signatures. They will also call a handwriting examiner to the stand who looked at all the signed petitions.

The defense questions the motives of the three witnesses who worked in the voter registration office. Burkett for one, hasn't been charged with anything even though he admits to forging signatures. They say the handwriting examiner will not be able to confidently say Dustin Blythe forged any of the signatures and Morgan-as the County Chairman-had very little to do with the day-to-day activities of the voter registration office.

The state called witness Lucas Burkett to the stand first. Burkett worked as the 2nd deputy at the voter registration office in 2008. He says Morgan instructed him, Brunette, Shelton, and Blythe to forge ballot petitions for presidential candidates. Burkett says all agreed to do so. Burkett testified Tuesday that he began feeling guilty and decided to get the signatures legitimately. It wasn't until two years later that he told someone what happened. Even then he first went to the press to tell the story, not authorities.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 2-year-old dies after rescue from backyard pool

    2-year-old dies after rescue from backyard pool

    Authorities say a 2-year-old girl has died after she was pulled from a backyard pool at a central Indiana home.More >>
    Authorities say a 2-year-old girl has died after she was pulled from a backyard pool at a central Indiana home.More >>
  • Two shot, one killed in downtown Chicago office building

    Two shot, one killed in downtown Chicago office building

    200 block of LaSalle in Chicago (FOX32 photo)200 block of LaSalle in Chicago (FOX32 photo)
    CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A recently demoted executive entered a Loop office building in Chicago on Thursday morning and shot the company’s CEO before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide, authorities said. The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. at the ArrowStream company on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St. “Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.More >>
    CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A recently demoted executive entered a Loop office building in Chicago on Thursday morning and shot the company’s CEO before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide, authorities said. The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. at the ArrowStream company on the 17th floor of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St. “Apparently he was despondent over the fact that he got demoted,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.More >>
  • South Bend man arrested after police say he held two women hostage, stored drugs at their apartment

    South Bend man arrested after police say he held two women hostage, stored drugs at their apartment

    A South Bend is man is in custody and facing eight felony charges after police say he assaulted his girlfriend, took her and her friend hostage, and used their apartment to store drugs.Police say 26-year-old Robert Hollins took his 29-year-old girlfriend hostage in her apartment on the 3500 block of S. High St., alongside her 23-year-old female friend.More >>
    A South Bend is man is in custody and facing eight felony charges after police say he assaulted his girlfriend, took her and her friend hostage, and used their apartment to store drugs.Police say 26-year-old Robert Hollins took his 29-year-old girlfriend hostage in her apartment on the 3500 block of S. High St., alongside her 23-year-old female friend.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.