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It was the first time jurors heard details of the gaffe, and Neal referenced it in his closing argument, saying at one point that the jury was Roberts’ last guardian against “a system that hasn’t worked the way it was supposed to work.” Meanwhile, Assistant U. Attorney Laurel Beeler hammered the view that by virtue of his status as general counsel, Roberts knew the rules at the company.

And regardless of what former controller Terry Davis might have told him, Beeler said Roberts knowingly broke those rules when he changed his grant date without board approval. Before the jury entered, Patel denied Roberts’ Rule 29 motion to dismiss. “A lot of clouds have been cast upon, sand thrown, dust stirred up about the government’s evidence.” Yet prosecutors put in enough material about Roberts’ intent to defeat the defense motion and let the jury sort it out, Patel ruled. She walked the jury through the piles of documents in an attempt to show that Roberts was meant to receive a grant priced as of February 2000.

And where Beeler highlighted the fact that Roberts headed an unrelated internal investigation in 2002 that led to Davis’ firing — and Roberts didn’t then come forward to disclose his own option — Neal cast that as evidence that Roberts didn’t think he did anything wrong.

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As for Neal’s speculation that the board could have authorized Roberts’ grant — which could have been reflected in the missing list — Beeler gave an alternate theory.

“One very good reason he knew — and I want to get my notes here to get it accurate — that the board of directors didn’t make any changes in 2000,” Beeler said, is that “in 2006 Kent Roberts gave not only an apology, but a confession about what happened.” The jury is scheduled to begin deliberations Wendesday.

“Why in the world would he fire the critical player in the scheme? Most of Neal’s argument focused on evidence that Davis had the authority to change Roberts’ grant.

If that’s the case, no crime was committed, he said.

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Last modified 14-Jun-2016 02:16