U.S. District Judge Norma H. Johnson ruled yesterday that former UDC president Robert L. Green may not use as a defense against perjury claims that he was entrapped by a government prosecutor into making false statements to a federal grand jury.
"There has been no evidence of entrapment," Johnson said, rejecting a request by Green's defense attorneys R. Kenneth Mundy and Karen McDonald for jury instructions to include a section on entrapment.
"The entrapment defense is just outlandish," Johnson said. Mundy had indicated he would argue that Green was misled into making erroneous statements during his grand jury testimony because Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Bernstein showed him the wrong bank records.
"I have to suggest that anyone with a Ph.D. can read," Johnson said.
Johnson's ruling came as she completed most pending legal matters in preparation for closing arguments Monday in the fraud, theft and perjury case. The jury is expected to begin deliberating later that day. Green completed his defense case yesterday with Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.) testifying briefly as a character witness.
Also yesterday, Johnson ruled that Green's defense attorneys may not argue to the jury that Green's use of the projection television and stereo system he is accused of stealing was actually a form of custodianship under the civil concept of "bailment."
Asking Johnson to include instructions to the jury on "bailment," McDonald said Green acted as the "bailee," that is, a person entrusted with goods on behalf of another, while UDC or mayoral aide Dwight S. Cropp was the "bailor," that is, the person who entrusted Green with the items.
"There is no bailment in this case," Johnson said. "If anybody tries to argue any bailment, you've got real problems."
Green said Thursday that he took the $1,399 stereo system and the $1,994.90 television when he was forced out as president of the University of the District of Columbia in 1985 knowing they did not belong to him, but he said he was acting as "custodian" of the property.
Johnson said she would wait until Monday to rule whether the second count of the eight-count fraud, theft and perjury indictment against Green should be dismissed because the caption on the indictment states the charge as first-degree fraud while the actual indictment language charges second-degree fraud.
First-degree theft would require the government to show that Green received the proceeds of an alleged fraud scheme, while a charge of second-degree theft would require the government to prove only that there was a scheme to defraud.
Mundy argued that Green cannot be charged both with first-degree fraud and theft because he would be accused of receiving the items both through fraud and through theft.
Bernstein told Johnson that the caption was in error, and that the language of the actual indictment was correct. Mundy argued that the language also is flawed.