I saw it. I believe it. I'm eating my shoe, chomp chomp.
Wearing a dark blue blazer with gilded buttons on the cuffs, tan slacks, and a burnt orange shirt with no necktie, McAfee had a Mr. Clean haircut--using the word "haircut" liberally--and the stylish five o'clock shadow popular during the era of "Miami Vice" in the 1980s. His facial expression was unkindly and hard, not the sort of soft and pastoral look one might expect from a man of the cloth.
If McAfee was given his 5th Amendment warning, I....
...wasn't there to witness it.
The Reverend--who has, in the past, disrupted a press conference by Mayor Rybak, click here--calmly and quietly answered a small number of questions from the defense, the questions focused on the role of Cynthia Lohmeier, a woman who "wore many hats" at Worldlink and was right in the middle of fraudulent transactions involving Larry Maxwell, for which Jerome Leon Kingrussell and Tyrone T. Williams have already pleaded guilty.
So Reverend McAfee said Lohmeier had, in his observation, acted in the role of a loan officer. There wasn't much more for McAfee to say beyond that. Defense turned the witness over to the prosecution, which had spoken of the possibility of half an hour of cross examination.
However, with the jury waiting to hear final arguments, Prosecutor Brad Johnson adopted to cut the cross examination off quickly, asking only two preliminary "warm up" questions (raising objections from Larry Reed, who has--by my estimation--literally objected HUNDREDS of times in this trial with a success rate of roughly ten percent) and then making an almost casual inquiry about McAfee's knowledge of some particular transactions.
Then it was abruptly over. The prosecutor let McAfee off the stand, unscathed. At that moment, Brad Johnson turned to his fellow prosecutor, the ever-dutiful Liz Johnston, and gave her A LOOK.
It's hard to interpret what that look means. It's like Johnson's "how about that?" look. I interpreted the look to mean, "One question, one answer, but plenty enough for perjury plus bearing false witness, if you want to get all Biblical about it" but it could have just as easily meant, "Nicely timed by Reed, since I really can't put the time I'd like into questioning McAfee. Maybe we'll get to him another time."
How McAfee got on the stand in the first place was rather interesting: Brad Johnson insisted that Defense attorney Reed state, on the record, the defense was done calling rebuttal witnesses. Larry Reed was willing to say plenty, and say it in various ways, but he wouldn't say THOSE WORDS, not exactly. He preferred to say things about the difficulty of his witness getting to court, and the judge not allowing the witness to testify unless the witness could arrive by 2:30 p.m., yesterday, and maybe there had been a MISUNDERSTANDING. At one point, the court reporter stood and whispered in the ear of the judge. I suspected the conversation involved what, precisely, had actually been on the record during yesterday's conversations about the witness.
It was incredibly obvious Reed was angling for some technicality he could use as grounds for appeal, but Johnson had seen that shadow in the corner and called it out in the open. Thus McAfee ended up on the stand. If McAfee was lying, then the trial ended on a dramatic and mystic final note: a man of the cloth breaking one of the Ten Commandments.
If McAfee was telling the truth, then the trial ended with nothing but an anti-climax. So Lohmeier was sometimes a loan officer? So McAfee knew nothing about a particular transaction? The jury was fighting to stay awake.
McAfee did manage to name a name on the stand: his organization, Residential Opportunities for Ordinary Families (ROOF) had been doing quite a bit of business with Worldlink, a company now known to be lousy with fraud. The full name of this organization currently turns up one Google hit, click here, an article from Christianity Today in (geez!) 1994.
Anybody who has information about ROOF--positive or negative--is free to use the comment threads.
Defense and prosecution both wrapped up their final arguments, with a brief rebuttal expected tomorrow at 9 a.m. from the prosecution. Then the jury will receive final instructions and, presumably, begin deliberations.
Reed's final arguments attempted to paint Detective Cardenas of Bloomington as an evil liar, which caused the wife of identity theft victim John Foster to write me a note expressing the desire to vomit.
Details about the final arguments to follow soon, plus a great photo of Detective Cardenas, who blew the lid off this massive web of mortgage fraud intrigue when other agencies would not investigate, would not pursue.