Jury In Pilot Trial To Begin Hearing Closing Arguments Monday; Defendants Don't Take Witness Stand

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The jury in the Pilot Travel Centers case will begin hearing closing arguments on Monday at 12:30 p.m. at Federal Court in Chattanooga.

None of the four defendants opted to take the witness stand, and the defense put on scant proof after the government produced a slew of witnesses beginning in early November.

Mark Hazelwood, former president; Scott Wombold, former national sales director, and inside sales accountants Heather Jones and Karen Mann are charged with wire and mail fraud relating to cheating trucking companies out of promised discounts. Hazelwood is also charged with coercion of a witness and Wombold is charged with lying to an FBI agent.

Closing arguments are expected to continue throughout Tuesday.

Judge Curtis Collier would deliver the charge late Tuesday or early Wednesday prior to the start of deliberations.

One juror has obligations on Thursday and Friday, so the jury would return the following Monday to continue deliberations if it does not reach a verdict on Wednesday.

The defense wanted to play a tape in which Wombold spoke of the disparity in pay for certain executives and for workers at the centers. He said the workers should get higher pay and benefits.

Judge Collier said that was "commendable," but he said it was not pertinent to the charges so he did not allow it. 

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