With only the prosecution’s rebuttal remaining in the perjury and voter fraud trial of state Sen. Roderick D. Wright, the case is expected to go to jury Friday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy delivered detailed instructions to the jury Thursday before both sides presented their closing arguments. Wright, 61, an Inglewood Democrat, was indicted more than three years ago on eight counts of perjury and voter fraud stemming from steps he took to run for what was then the 25th Senate District. Prosecutors allege Wright cooked up an elaborate scheme in 2007 to make it appear he was eligible to run when he registered to vote and made other moves to establish as his legal residence an Inglewood rental complex he owns. They allege his true residence, or “domicile” as state law puts it, was a single-family home in Baldwin Hills, outside the district he wanted to run in.
Wright, who pleaded not guilty to all counts, and his attorney insist the senator intended to play by the rules and did everything he thought was required when he arranged to share space in the Inglewood home he was renting to a woman he considers his stepmother.
Defense attorney Winston Kevin McKesson said the law was unclear and called prosecuting Wright a waste of taxpayers’ money.
In his 90-minute closing argument Thursday morning, Deputy Dist. Atty. Bjorn Dodd went through the applicable laws for the jurors, translating the legal terminology into everyday language. A domicile, for example, is a person’s fixed place of residence, where one expects to live more or less permanently and where one expects to return after an absence.