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Prosecutors oppose separate trials for Shoffner

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 13, 2014 at 6:20 p.m.

Federal prosecutors say in court documents that former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner should not be granted her request to have two separate corruption trials.

Shoffner was indicted last year on charges that she took improper payments from a broker who did business with the state. The indictment was amended last week to add 10 mail fraud charges for alleged misspending of campaign money. Prosecutors said in a Thursday filing that the offenses are similar enough to warrant a single trial.

Shoffner argues for a separate trial on the new counts because the charges were lodged too close to her March 3 trial. She also argues that a jury may infer that if she mishandled campaign money, then she must be guilty of the other charges as well.

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