The Trial of Tom Petters Day 18 was crowded with gawkers
I arrived early to the courthouse today, but there was already a
crowd of spectators lining up to watch the Government and the Tom
Petters's attorneys give their final arguments.
Each side had ninety minutes with a short rebuttal for the Government.
First Assistant U.S Attorney John Marti said Petters's associates who
had pled guilty and testified against Petters were, using defense
attorney Jon Hopeman's words "instruments of darkness". But, Marti
reminded the jury that Petters had admitted in his testimony that
they were his instruments.
Marti played more tapes so the jury could again hear Petters
admitting PCI was "one big fraud". Marti explained each of the
twenty counts in the indictment and gave a summary of the evidence.
At the end, Marti reminded the jury of the small investors who
testified about losing nearly all their money in the scheme and said
the jury could "fix it" by convicting Tom Petters.
Petters's attorney Paul Enge talked about some of the evidence that
could put a doubt in the Government's case, but there wasn't much.
Enge filled up the rest of his statement with literary references
from Samuel Becket to Gertrude Stein. Enge also mentioned Freud,
Nietzsche, heuristics and cognitive dissonance.
Paul Enge's main point was that the jury should presume the defendant
innocent until proven guilty as the Founding Fathers intended... Enge
said that while jumping up and down for emphasis.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Rank gave a twenty minute rebuttal in
which he turned the jury's attention back to the tapes and Petters
own words that the purchase orders were fake.
After lunch, Judge Kyle read the jury instructions. The fate of Tom
Petters now rests with the jury.