Government & Politics
8:20 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Orie Melvin Defense Rests Without Justice Taking Stand

Suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin has opted not to testify at her campaign corruption trial.

As a result, the defense has rested and the jury will return Friday for closing arguments and legal instructions before they begin deliberating. The jury must decide whether the justice and her sister and aide, Janine Orie, conspired to misuse state-paid employees for campaign work when Melvin, then a Superior Court judge, ran for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009.

Melvin's attorneys declined to comment on the decision. But it was apparently made at the last minute, as Janine Orie's attorney had told The Associated Press earlier Wednesday that Melvin had planned to take the stand.

The attorneys will meet with the judge Thursday for routine motions.