Friday, December 16, 2005

Beer-for-votes Conviction Upheld

The state Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Tallahatchie County man who offered beer and money in a bid to get people to vote by absentee ballot in a 2003 election.

Greg Eason was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $500 in November 2004 on one count of conspiracy and eight counts of voter fraud.

According to the indictment, Eason and Minnie Saulsberry paid people $5 to $10 or provided two or three beers in exchange for votes. The incidents occurred before the Aug. 26, 2003, runoff election for Tallahatchie County supervisor.According to the court record, Saulsberry was sentenced to one year probation and fined $100. She had testified against Eason.

On appeal, Eason argued he was not allowed to attack Saulsberry's bias against him.Appeals Judge Billy Bridges, writing Tuesday for the court, said the jurors were told that Saulsberry had pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Eason.

Bridges said defendants have the right to confront witnesses against them, and the trial judge did not violate that right.

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