Local lawyer, who knows Foster's defense attorney well, talks strategy

David Mugridge has known attorney Marshall Hodgkins for years

Fresno, CALIF. - A seemingly calm Keith Foster walking into Fresno federal court Thursday, followed by his defense attorney, Marshall Hodgkins.

Inside, this demeanor continued.

Foster kept his head and eyes down, while Hodgkins told jurors his client, will face the stain of these accusations the rest of his life.

"Why would somebody in his position, want to risk everything," Fresno criminal defense attorney David Mugridge said. "His entire career, his reputation, his family, his life, possible prison time."

Mugridge has known Hodgkins for years.

"He's used to dealing with tough facts, tough cases, tough clients," Mugridge said. 

Mugridge also says, Hodkins is acknowledging issues that could point to guilt, then asking the jury to see the other side.

It's something Mudridge says, the prosecution could turn against Foster.

"He was using that as a front to cover what he was otherwise doing," Mugridge suggested. "Because he figured, nobody else would suspect that somebody that high up would do something like that, so it's a two-edged sword.

"What it really gets down to, is, can you look at this circumstantial evidence and reasonably say, I don't believe it was anything other than criminal."

All this just one day after Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer expressed concerns for the future perception of his officers.

"And I never want to do anything that's going to violate that trust," Dyer said. "And when things happen in my organization, I take it personal." 

Mugridge, is expressing concern, too.

"We don't like to have any officer found guilty of a crime, but when it gets that high up on the ladder, it's more significant and it is troubling," Mugridge said. "My heart goes out to Jerry Dyer, because it's a lose-lose situation for him, no matter what."

The prosecution will give its rebuttal tomorrow, then the jury will begin deliberating. 

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe. 


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