The Clarion-Ledger, 2/18/9

Defense attorneys for Mayor Frank Melton and his former police bodyguard Michael Recio expect to wrap up their cases today in federal court, paving the way for a possible verdict by the end of the week.

It is still unclear whether Melton plans to take the stand. However, Recio’s attorney, Cynthia Stewart, indicated Recio likely will testify.

The plan was announced Tuesday at the end of a stop-and-go day at the federal court house in downtown Jackson.

U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan asked attorneys to be prepared to give closing statements this afternoon. Federal prosecutors said their statement likely would last one hour.

Tuesday was day one of the defense’s case. Jurors heard an opening statement from Melton’s attorney as well as testimony from three defense witnesses.