Informant testifies about winnings in slot machine trial

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 05:53 PM.

Morning testified that the officers and informants paid clerks at the businesses who then applied the money toward credits on the gaming devices. If the player won, a receipt was printed by the machine that could be exchanged for money.

Morning testified that search warrants were obtained after the investigation that resulted in the seizure of 16 gaming machines and more than 300 items of evidence at seven Havelock-area businesses on Oct. 17. Muse was one of eight people that were charged in connection with the devices.

Muse is being represented by attorney’s Marc Chestnut and Gary Clemmons. Chestnut said that police began their prosecution thinking they were dealing with violations of sweepstakes statute and subsequently charged Muse with violating the slot machine statute. “That right there ought to be reasonable doubt,” Chestnut said.

Prosecutor Robert McAfee called the argument “nonsense” and said it was a “red herring.”

“The whole discussion was about sweepstakes but after the investigation, the evidence, and talking to the DA’s office we subsequently charged Mr. Muse with violating the slot machine stature,” Morning testified. “It was based on the totality of the evidence.”

Morning explained that sweepstakes are typically played with computers hooked to servers and the Internet, while free standing slot machines are operated independently using a “money box” or kiosk.

“Sometime after you seized all those things your theory changed. Isn’t that right?” Chestnut asked Morning.

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