Jurors were seated this morning in the trial of suspended State Court Judge Carlton Vines. Vines case will be heard by a jury of five men and seven women. Judge G. Carey Nelson of Bartow County had requested a jury pool of 100 potential jurors for the case, but the jurors were chosen rather quickly. One male alternate was chosen for the jury.
The prosecution began presenting their case against Vines this morning. Vines is charged with unlawful possession of ballots, conspiracy to commit election fraud and making false statements in connection with filing notice of candidacy. He has pleaded not guilty. Several witnesses were called including the election superintendent and the registrar in Chattooga County and were questioned about the absentee voting process.
Two witness that worked on the Vines campaign, Steve Chappelear and Tony Sparks, both testified that they hand delivered some sealed absentee ballots to Vines’ office.
The state prosecutors were also ordered to turn over a list of any witnesses that were granted immunity for their testimony in the trial.
Court will reconvene on Tuesday and prosecutors are expected to finish their testimony by the end of the day tomorrow.