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Stevens Gets Testy Under Cross-examination, Trial May Wrap Up On Tuesday

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), under cross-examination for the second day in his corruption trial, and he dueled with prosecutor Brenda Morris, showing flashed of his famous temper.

"Miss Morris, I have not died yet," Stevens said at one point under prodding from Morris, the lead federal prosecutor.

"You go right ahead with your questions, miss," Stevens bristled at another point.

Morris and Stevens dueled over a $2,700 massage chair given to Stevens by his neighbor, Bob Persons, in 2001. Stevens never reported getting the chair from Persons, a potential violation of Senate ethics rules.

Stevens still has the chair in his home but he considers it a "loan."

"It's just a loan," Stevens insisted of the massage chair.

Morris then sarcastically asked Stevens if he had other furniture in his home owned by other people.

"We have lots of furniture in our house that doesn't belong to us," Stevens said, drawing laughs from the press corps located in another room."

Stevens claimed that it was still Persons' chair even though it has been in his home for the last seven years. "It's not my chair, it's not my chair," Stevens sputtered. "It's his chair, he put it in the house."

Then Stevens claimed, as his wife has before him, that Bill Allen, former CEO of VECO Corp., an Alaska oil-field services company, had removed the Stevens' furniture from their home and replaced it with his own, which the couple didn't want, according to the Alaska Republican.

"Then Bill Allen stole our furniture and put his own in the chalet," Stevens said.

Morris caustically asked Stevens whether he called the police over Allen's alleged furniture swap.

"It never crossed my mind to call the police," Stevens responded.

Morris got Stevens to admit several times that he didn't report either the massage chair or other alleged gifts from Allen and Persons. "Yes, I could have. No, I did not," Stevens said in response to a Morris' quesiton.

Update - Morris has finished with her cross-examination of Stevens. Stevens' lawyer will redirect, then Morris will get another crack at Stevens.

Update 2 - Stevens is done.

Update 3 - Judge Sullivan just announced that closing arguments will take place on Tuesday, and he will instruct the jury on Wednesday morning, meaning deliberations will begin later that day.

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