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State Senator Won't Testify In His Own Defense

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A Maryland lawyer is accused of taking bribes in exchange for votes. The trial continued Tuesday as defense attorneys claim their own client is unintelligent but not dishonest.

Adam May has the latest.

Prosecutors are poking questions at the stupidity defense, pointing out Senator Ulysses Currie was trusted with a lot of power and responsibility.

Attorneys for State Senator Ulysses Currie told the judge their client will not take the stand in his own defense.

Instead, U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings was the latest in a parade of high-profile politicians to testify on Currie's behalf. Cummings described Currie as an honest man.

The Prince George's Democrat stands accused of accepting nearly a quarter of a million dollars in bribes from supermarket chain Shoppers Food in exchange for political favors.

Currie's legal team is using what some call the "idiot defense." Witnesses such as Lt. Governor Anthony Brown told the jury Currie is honest but disorganized.

Prosecutors hit back, alleging that Currie's powerful chairmanship of the state's Budget and Taxation Committee is a complicated job, requiring a certain level of intelligence.

Defense attorneys argue Currie's work as a paid consultant for Shoppers Food was perfectly legal. They acknowledge he failed to disclose his work for Shoppers on ethics forms.

Executives and consultants with other supermarket chains also took the stand Tuesday. They describe a tight relationship with elected officials in Annapolis.

Currie faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.

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