Jury set to decide Don Buie's fate
It's now up to a jury to decide whether or not Don Buie knowingly stole taxpayer money.
The jury will start deliberating Buie's 19 charges of theft, fraud, and conspiracy Tuesday. The sixth day of the indicted former downtown manager and ADICA CEO's trial started with Prosecutor Chris Cohilas resting the state's case Monday morning. Then Judge Denise Marshall denied the defense's request to dismiss almost all charges except one. Buie is no longer charged with false statements and writings for reportedly lying on his job application. Cohilas says it's due to the witness having a death in the family and circumstances surrounding where Buie filled out the application.
Buie's defense lawyer Johnnie Graham then called three witnesses. Local DJ Michael Hill who worked events for Buie, GBI Special Agent Fred Wimberly, and ADICA Board Member Andrew Reid all took the stand. Buie did not testify.
During closing arguments Cohilas reiterated the facts of the case saying Buie broke the law by getting a kickback from Nicole Brown, paying his wife, and covering up his $1 a month lease agreement with former Dollar Square Owner Tim Washington.
"These laws protect the taxpayers. These laws protect the public," said Cohilas.
Graham argued there's no definitive proof Buie took that kickback, wrongfully paid his wife, or agreed to a sweetheart deal with Washington.
"Why would a person making $80,000 a year want to jeopardize this over $5,000?" Graham said.
The jurors must be unanimous on all their verdicts and will start deliberating Tuesday morning at the Dougherty County Courthouse. Keep checking in with mysouthwestga.com and our FOX 31 Facebook and Twitter pages for all the latest on the trial.