After a judge stiff-armed efforts for a mistrial, the shock jock trial in Tampa is moving forward.
The drama in the Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem trial has entered its third week, and a decision on a second mistrial motion is expected to come soon.
For now, the trial continues and nears an end. Attorneys for Bubba the Love Sponge Clem – who is accused of defamation by his radio rival Todd "MJ" Schnitt – asked for the mistrial Monday morning.
"We believe there is no way Mr. Clem can get a fundamentally fair trial the rest of the way," said Greg Hearing, Bubba's attorney, citing the media coverage of the trial.
However, MJ's attorneys argued part of the coverage was fueled by Bubba's own coverage on his radio show, and the motion was struck down.
Last week, MJ's attorneys also demanded a mistrial, claiming Bubba's team had orchestrated the arrest of MJ's lead attorney on a DUI charge. A ruling is yet to come on that motion.
Last week, Phil Campbell was arrested in Tampa. MJ's legal team claimed Campbell was setup by a paralegal who worked for Bubba's defense attorney.
The woman, Melissa Personius, took the stand but pleaded the Fifth Amendment to most of the questions. The officer who arrested Campbell testified that he was tipped off by a caller.
The allegation sidelined the defamation case as the judge sent the jury home Friday afternoon. He then ordered a mini-trial over the DUI claim.
Schnitt's legal team claims that Campbell was set up by Personius, an employee of the law firm representing Schnitt's rival. They say Campbell went to Malio's in downtown Tampa Wednesday night, where he met Personius. They claim that Personius did not disclose that she works for the law firm that represents Bubba.
They say after having several drinks, Pesonius asked Campbell to move her car. They believe she or someone close to her then called police, directing them to Campbell, who was arrested for DUI.
On the witness stand Friday, Personius testified that she did not tell Campbell where she worked.
Reacting to the controversy Friday, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor released a statement saying, "It is unfortunate that the Tampa Police Department has been dragged into this circus. We stand behind our officer. He did what DUI officers do every day, and that is arrest impaired drivers."
The trial is expected to wrap up this week.
FOX 13's Gloria Gomez is tweeting updates from the trial. You can follow her @ggome13.
From your computer, you can watch a live video feed of the trial here: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/category/235312/live-video
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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