UPDATE: Defense rests without Tacker's testimony

By By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – Tommy Tacker will send his case to stay a free man to a jury without telling his side of the story.

Just after the noon recess, his attorney, Robert “Chip” Davis announced that defense rested.

Minutes before, Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson had denied his motion to acquit the biodiesel businessman after the government’s case was completed.

In denying the motion, Davidson said the government’s evidence and witnesses make a reasonable case that Tommy Tacker of Okolona could have known about some phases of a biofuels fraud scheme.

Tacker, 56, of Okolona is accused in a 10-count indictment that he and Martin, Tenn., resident H. Max Speight conspired and defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s biofuels subsidy program of more than $3 million. Speight pleaded guilty to one count two weeks ago and testified against Tacker this morning.

After Davis aked the judge to throw out the government’s case, Davidson said it’s a “reasonable finding” that Tacker could have known about the conspiracy and the unlawful personal profit from the scheme.

Closing arguments and jury instructions will take place Wednesday. Court begins at 9:30 a.m.

For more details, come back to NEMS360.com, or read Wednesday’s Daily Journal or Patsy’s blog “From the Front Row” on NEMS360.com.