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Judge guts Smith's defense

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Posted: Oct 26, 2011 6:25 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Oct 26, 2011 6:30 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: fred smith, police chief fred smith, port allen, racketeering, fraud, bribery, corruption, operation blighted officials

BATON ROUGE-- A judge gutted Port Allen Police Chief Fred Smith's defense, telling Smith's attorney he cannot use "entrapment" as a defense during closing arguments Thursday.

Smith's attorney, J. David Bourland, pleaded with Judge Brian A. Jackson to allow the entrapment defense, saying, "My client was emphatic he wanted no pay."

Audio tapes recorded by undercover FBI operatives do show Smith saying he does not want any money; they also show Smith accepting thousands of dollars before and after giving away confidential information from a criminal database and giving away police badges and commissions.

"We're not just talking about pay. We're talking about things of value," Jackson told Bourland.

Prosecutors showed Smith accepting a stay at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans in January of 2010, along with expensive dinners at Drago's and Ruth's Chris in New Orleans, and several sets of tickets to sporting events like Lakers games.

When Bourland told Jackson undercover FBI operatives "flopped" $300 in his lap without Smith asking for it, Jackson replied, "Surely there could've been a response-- should've been a response: 'What is this? I don't want this.' "

Neither Bourland nor Smith are allowed to talk specifics about the trial with anyone until it's over.

Smith said he would "absolutely" talk with News 2 when the trial is over. When we asked him if he feels good about the trial, he responded, "Oh yes."

Closing arguments begin Thursday morning.

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