Jury Expected to Begin Deliberations Today in Federal Trial of Former Batesville Prosecutor

MARCH 3, 2004 - Posted at 7:45 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Prosecutors are to put on their rebuttal today to end closing arguments in the corruption trial of former prosecutor T.J. Hively.

The trial of Hively and two co-defendants began a month ago.  Closing arguments began yesterday.  Prosecutors say Hively abused his 16th Judicial District office by taking advantage of vulnerable people who were charged or threatened with being charged with a crime - demanding money in exchange for leniency.

Defense lawyers said witnessses lied and that Hively and his co-defendants should not have been prosecuted.

Hively, bail bondsman Gary Edwards, and former Hively law partner Wesley "Butch" Ketz are accused of pressuring criminal defendants to turn over property and money.


Both Edwards and Hively took the stand in their defense and said they were innocent.  Ketz did not testify.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)