Defense questions star witness in Burrell Ellis trial - CBS46 News

Defense questions star witness in Burrell Ellis trial

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Attorneys for Burrell Ellis began questioning the prosecution's star witness in the corruption trial of the suspended DeKalb County CEO.

Ellis is accused of pressuring contractors to donate to his campaign or risk losing county business.

Kelvin Walton, the county's purchasing director, was back on the stand on Thursday. The defense began by attacking Walton's credibility.

"You were under oath, you swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, didn't you ?" asked prosecutor Craig Gillen. "And of course, you lied didn't you?"

"I did," responded Walton.

Gillen was referring to Walton's testimony before a special grand jury in 2012. At the time, he was questioned about whether he accepted any gifts from county contractors. 

Walton denied he had received any favors, but later admitted he had received free tree work from a contractor. He also testified he asked three vendors for money to help Ellis' assistant, who was having financial problems.

"I admitted to what I had done," Walton testified. "After they confronted you with your lies right?" asked Gillen. "That's correct," responded Walton.

"So you got caught? Correct?" said Gillen. "If that's what you want to call it," Walton responded.  

Walton has testified he lied to the grand jury so he would not lose his job as he was nearing retirement. He said he was "scared" and wanted to "come clean."

He agreed to help the district attorney investigate Ellis by secretly recording the CEO's conversations.

Walton will return to the stand on Friday as the ninth day of testimony begins.

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