11 plead not guilty in Ala bingo bribery case

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The 11 defendants accused of conspiring to buy and sell votes for a pro-gambling bill at the Alabama Legislature have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges Friday.

During a brief court appearance Friday, the trial was set for April 4, with all 11 of the defendants to be tried together. Defense attorney Jim Parkman estimated the trial could take six months because of the number of defendants and amount of evidence to be questioned.

Outside the courthouse, more than 20 supporters of Dothan casino developer Ronnie Gilley carried signs saying, "Ronnie Is Innocent" and shouted, "We believe in you, Ronnie." Some said they had worked at his now closed Country Crossing casino and entertainment complex.

Giley told them he will continue to fight for the project and that he had never offered money for a vote.