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Judge Orders Letter Counteracting One That Hunter’s Defense Sent

U. S. District Judge Earl B. Gilliam said Thursday that he plans to order that a letter be sent to about 100 prosecution witnesses in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Nancy Hoover Hunter to inform them that they are not required to bring their income tax returns to court when they are called to testify.

The witnesses, former clients of the bankrupt J. David & Co. investment firm where Hunter worked, received a letter from Hoover’s lawyers last week requesting that they bring their 1979 through 1984 tax returns to court or send them to the lawyers in advance, “rather than having your testimony interrupted at trial.”

Gilliam issued the order for a second letter after Assistant U. S. Atty. Gay Hugo objected that the first letter was a defense tactic intended to “intimidate” prosecution witnesses. She said she had received about 15 calls from witnesses who said they were intimidated by the defense request.

Gilliam said he will decide today on the wording of the second letter and whether it should be sent by the defense or the prosecution. Jury selection in the case enters its fourth day today.

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