Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Iowa Prosecutor Trying to Bar Discussion of Bigfoot at Lottery-Scam Trial

I'm a fan of the lottery. I purchase at least one Mega Millions ticket (or sometimes the Powerball when the prize starts getting up there -- though I hate that it was jacked up to $2 per ticket!!) every week. So I've been following the criminal case against Eddie Tipton, the former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Tipton was convicted of attempting to claim winnings from a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot here in Iowa a while back. Now prosecutors are trying to convict him of charges of ongoing criminal conduct and money laundering related to the various lottery jackpots. Basically, they say that he manipulated the lottery computers so that his friends and accomplices would win millions in jackpot winnings.

But I'm not writing about these charges. I'm writing about Bigfoot. Yes, Bigfoot.

It seems that some of the witnesses in his trial, including his brother Tommy Tipton, are members of a Bigfoot investigative group and prosecutors want to bar any mention of Bigfoot from the trial, fearing that the subject will distract from the actual trial:
(Iowa prosecutor Rob) Sand wrote in his motion that Iowa's lengthy investigation has found that Bigfoot hunting is a hobby that Tommy Tipton — who recently resigned as a justice of the peace in Flatonia, Texas — shares with two unidentified friends who "were involved in purchasing or claiming jackpot-winning tickets." He said their relationships can be established without mentioning that quirky pastime, and that hauling Bigfoot into the proceeding would have "no probative value on the ultimate question."

The motion noted that members of the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization — which is dedicated to searching for the hairy humanoid in Southern states —"prefer to keep a low profile, due to the repercussions from their peers or employers."

That group distanced itself from the lottery scandal Tuesday, saying it hasn't had a Tommy Tipton sighting in years. "It's been right at, or nearly 15 years since any of us, has conversed with him in any way, shape or form," founder Bobby Hamilton said.
Eddie Tipton's attorney was joking about the motion. Frankly, it's unclear to me why it came up in the first place.

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