TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Will he or won’t he? As in, will defendant Christian Dawkins take the stand in his own defense or not? That is the question the defense must answer as the prosecution has all but wrapped up its arguments.
Crucial to that answer is the decision over whether or not additional FBI wiretapped phone calls will entered as evidence - a decision that rests with Judge Edgardo Ramos and one that will affect how the rest of this trial plays out. Should Ramos side with the prosecution and not allow the recordings to be played, it will be up to the defense over whether or not to allow Dawkins and his fellow defendant Merl Code to take the stand.
What happens after that is anyone’s guess.
As a reminder, Dawkins and Code are on trial this time around for allegedly bribing college assistant coaches in an effort to gain access to their players. Monday’s proceedings shed plenty of light on former Wildcat assistant Book Richardson’s dealings as prosecutors played several FBI recordings of Richardson discussing his efforts to direct Rawle Alkins, Allonzo Trier, and Deandre Ayton to Dawkins’ financial services company. The jury also saw video of Richardson accepting money that was allegedly earmarked for former Wildcat recruit Jahvon Quinerly. Richardson pled guilty to one count of federal bribery earlier this year.
As Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel noted, one potentially significant consequence of Dawkins taking the stand - the defense’s ability to have Ramos reconsider his earlier ruling of not allowing wire taps of Dawkins’ conversations with coaches to be played in the courtroom. Coaches that include Sean Miller.
"One argument along those lines may be the government twice playing a phone call between Dawkins and financial planner Munish Sood, where they were discussing a promise from Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson about the agency signing “the No. 1 player next year,” a reference to then-Wildcat player and future No. 1 NBA draft pick DeAndre Ayton. In it, Dawkins references a discussion he had with Miller...
“...Presumably, the conversation Dawkins is referencing with Miller has also been recorded since Dawkins’ phone was tapped by the FBI during the summer of 2017. Dawkins could potentially argue it should be played since it has already been referenced.”
Up until now it has been the prosecutors’ show. Wednesday, it’s the defense’s turn. And depending on their game plan, this whole trial and, for that matter, the sport of college basketball, may face a turn as well.