E. St. Louis party members ask for new trials
St. Louis, MO. – Five Democratic leaders convicted last month in an East St. Louis vote-buying scheme have asked a federal judge for new trials or acquittals.
Attorneys filed the motions this week on behalf of precinct committee members Jesse Lewis, Sheila Thomas and Kelvin Ellis, along with City Hall worker Yvette Johnson.
They claim the June 29th convictions failed to meet the burden of proof that they bought or told someone to buy votes.
Charles Powell Junior is the former chairman of the East St. Louis Democratic Central Committee. He also was convicted felony conspiracy to commit vote fraud and is asking for a new trial or an acquittal.
U-S Attorney Ron Tenpas didn't immediately return a message today seeking comment on the motions.