Prosecution rests in Finch trial

The James Finch trial wrapped up for the second day. The defense is set to call a handful of witnesses on Wednesday, including Margo Anderson.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 6:55 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The James Finch trial will pick back up Wednesday morning with the defense presenting its case.

The Panama City business owner is facing federal bribery and conspiracy charges.

Finch is accused of giving former Lynn Haven Commissioner Antonius Barnes around $40,000 to win his commission vote and ultimately work contracts for Phoenix construction.

Finch’s lawyers are expected to call four to five witnesses to the stand, including former Commissioner and mayoral candidate, Judy Tinder. Tuesday, the government rested its case after calling several witnesses, including former City Manager Michael White. White admitted said Finch rushed work and Anderson would pressure him on Finch’s projects.

The same sentiment yesterday’s witness shared.

Former Commissioner Barnes testified Tuesday, saying the money was given to him as a loan to start a business.

The FBI testified, saying the first check written to Barnes was dated for 2015 but his business was started in 2012.

The FBI also says the checks dates correspond closely with commission meetings when votes were taken.

Barnes says his votes were based on Finch’s history with the city. We’ll keep you updated as the trial moves forward.