You have to admire the guts, if nothing else.
In a move even his attorneys acknowledged was risky, Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole’s defense team rested Wednesday without calling a single witness after prosecutors ended more than two weeks of testimony alleging that he took bribes to steer real estate contracts to a developer.
“They’ve never shown any connection between the things Jerry and Michael Surface did together and any of Jerry’s official actions,” said defense lawyer Rusty Hardin. “The issue has always been: Did the people have a pre-existing relationship before the thing of value was given and the answer with Jerry and Mike Surface is that, clearly, they did.”
Hardin said it was the first time in his 37-year career that he has rested without putting on any defense.
“It’s the measure of two things: One is how much I hope I’m right and haven’t messed up, and the other is how certain I am they haven’t proved a case,” Hardin said. “If we’re wrong, we’ll find out when the jury comes back.”
Jurors are expected to return Friday for closing arguments. To find Eversole guilty, they will have to decide he intended to take the gifts as a bribe.
The gifts in question often ran into five figures. We should all have friends like Mike Surface. I have no clue how this will turn out, I’m just looking forward to seeing it.