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Former Blago aide to testify from grave

Lawyer says Chris Kelly speaks louder in death
July 21, 2010 9:41:08 AM PDT
U.S. District Judge James Zagel dismissed the charges against the late Chris Kelly during a federal court hearing Tuesday morning. Kelly faced extortion and racketeering charges in the corruption case against former governor Rod Blagojevich, who he had worked for as chief fundraiser and political go-to guy. Kelly died of an apparent suicide last week, just days before he was supposed to begin a lengthy prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty in two other criminal cases but had refused to testify against his former boss.

None of the defendants was in court for Tuesday's proceeding.

After Tuesday's hearing, Blagojevich attorney, Sam Adam Jr., told reporters his client's former adviser and fundraiser still plays an important part in the case. "Chris Kelly's voice will speak louder from the grave," Adam said. Adam went on to say that Kelly is on the record saying Blagojevich has done nothing wrong.

Mr. Kelly's attorney Michael Monico did not appear on behalf of his late client. Monico, who has not spoken publicly about Kelly since the suicide stunned both the government and defense teams, told ABC7 last week that he was remaining silent upon the request of Kelly's family.

Also during the hearing, Judge Zagel approved the defense team's request to hire 3 "less senior" attorneys to help prepare for the June 3 trial.

The case is scheduled back in court November 16.


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