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Closing arguments in Hunter trial go into a third day

Ann Thompson
Defendant Judge Tracie Hunter returns to the courtroom after a break.

Each side has taken hours to sum up its case in the trial of suspended Hamilton County Juvenile Judge Tracie Hunter. Judge Norbert Nadel told Special Prosecutor Scott Croswell he can finish up Wednesday with jury instructions to follow.

Closing arguments began Monday in a trial that is now into its fifth week. Hunter is charged with nine felony counts including tampering with evidence, forgery and theft in office.

Croswell zeroed in on Hunter's alleged willingness to commit crimes and then blame others, referring to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. Croswell said, "Deters isn't a poor loser. She is a poor winner."

Other Croswell claims:

  • Defense Attorney "Clyde Bennett is not Houdini, Judge Hunter's name is on documents that prove she is guilty"
  • "Truth is just like an ugly baby"-you have to live with it
  • "Hunter was more than willing to manipulate the system if it was to her advantage"

Bennett called the case against Hunter absurd and politically motivated. He told the jury, "you can only come to a not guilty verdict on each and every count."
Other Bennett claims:

  • "She is a God-fearing woman, committed to improve the lives of youth"
  • "We don't live in a community that can make claims and then lock people up"
  • Bennett calls the case "half-baked"

Judge Nadel expects the case will go to the jury Wednesday afternoon.