Friday, June 5, 2015

Judge rules ex-lawmaker's estranged wife can't testify

(AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a former lawmaker's estranged wife won't be allowed to testify at his trial about a conversation with him because of spousal privilege.

According to reports, U.S. District Chief Judge Karen Caldwell said at a motion hearing Thursday in Lexington that if former state Rep. Keith Hall's case goes to trial, the jury won't hear Stephanie Hall testify about a 2010 conversation in which she said he told her he was paying money to the state mine inspector assigned to his coal mines.

Prosecutors say Keith Hall paid about $46,000 in bribes to Kelly Shortridge, who was then a state mine inspector. Shortridge, who pleaded guilty in March, has said he agreed to ignore violations at Hall's mines in Pike County.