Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tessa Rose Trial, Day 3, Wednesday, November 9, 2005

HI from Philadelphia,

It hurts to tell you that at 2:15 PM the jury read the guilty verdict on all counts. Approximately 90 minutes of deliberation including their lunch which the court had brought in for them.

At 9 AM there were nine of us there which grew to 20 before noon. The first half hour was just discussion between the Judge and attorneys concerning his charge to the jury.

The first witness was Mrs. Odhner, Tessa's Aunt- retired school principal where Tessa attended school. She was asked her opinion of Tessa's character. Said she would trust her with her life. Government asked her if she ever talked to Tessa about income taxes and she said no.

Next was Peter Mergen. He knows Tessa from church for more ten years. His opinion of her character was she is very honest, a very principled person. She had told him that once you know people are defrauded you must be willing to burn your own soul to let them know. Gov't asked him about one time filing zero returns and did he learn this from her and he said he came to his understanding of this on his own. And then he now has filed and paid. Redirect Ms Brotman he said his reason for filing and paying was because of fear of retribution from the IRS.

Next was Judith Merrell. She has known Tessa from childhood, got married a week apart. Her opinion of her was honest, integrity and honor. Not motivated by greed. Gov't did you talk to her about taxes and does she have a mission to destroy the IRS. She answered yes. Ms Brotman then asked was she out to destroy the IRS because of her belief? And the Judge sustained it.

Next Oliver Odhner, Tessa's 79 year old uncle. Her character very trustworthy, believes in the truth, the common good, honest. Gov't asked if they ever talked about taxes and collapsing the IRS. Answer No.

Next Rachael Odhner, Aunt. Her opinion of character Very honest, very reliable, never questioned her honesty.

Next Michelle Moreysynnesvedt: known her 7 years-swapped baby sitting, home schooled together. Her opinion was very reliable and honest, genuine. Shown pictures of their house and they accurately described their home of the past 7 years. Gov't asked if they ever talked about taxes or a mission to collapse the IRS and she answered no.

This completed the defense case.

Then the closing arguments of both sides, the judges charge to the jury and the jury went to deliberate at 12:20. The judge spent a few minutes with the attorneys and we went to lunch at a nearby Subway with Larken's parents. Larken, Tessa and friends and relatives ate at the courthouse cafeteria. We all came back from lunch and were hanging together in the courthouse lobby deciding what we were going to do. At 1:55 PM we were told the jury had reached a verdict so we headed up to the courtroom. There were 16 government employees besides the attorneys. Of course downstairs is an IRS office so it is convenient for them to come in. We were concerned that the verdict was so quick. Before leaving we said goodbye to everyone and gave Tessa a big hug. She seems to be holding up well.

Ms Brotman has until December 22 to file her motion for the Rule 29 where the judge will have the right to overturn the verdict. Sentencing is set for February 15, 2006.

We are packing to go ahead and get a flight out tonight, so must go for now.


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