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Lawyer Melvin Neisner, 51, was suspended from his part-time traffic judge post a year ago after he was charged with causing a crash on the Killington Road, leaving the scene and lying to police to avoid prosecution.
Police say Neisner swerved in front of two bikers causing one to collide with the back of his vehicle and he sped off-- leaving the biker with a broken leg and other injuries. The other biker got Neisner's license plate. Police went to Neisner's home where they say he told the first of many lies.
"He allowed me to come inside and then told me that his wife had been in an accident on Killington Road with a motorcycle," Vt. State Police Trooper Robert McKenna said.
Neisner and his wife stuck to the lie for a month until prosecutors subpoenaed him, his wife and kids to testify under oath at an inquest. That's when he and his lawyer voluntarily met with McKenna and Neisner admitted he hadn't been truthful.
Friday, the 90 minute audio recording was played for the jury.
"What I did I know was wrong. I lied to you. I um, lied to not only you, I lied to myself, that's the worst thing I did," jurors heard Neisner say.
Armed with the taped interview, prosecutors charged Neisner with reckless driving causing a crash, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, lying to police and interfering with an investigation.
On the tape Neisner claims he left the scene because he was afraid the scary biker would hurt him if he stopped. McKenna says he believed Neisner left the scene because he knew he was driving drunk and would face criminal charges.
The case is expected to go to the jury on Monday.
No matter what their verdict-- guilty or not-- Neisner could lose his law license.
"An acquittal does not preclude my office from taking action against an attorney's license," said Michael Kennedy, disciplinary counsel.
Kennedy prosecutes disciplinary actions against lawyers' licenses to practice.
He says any evidence of ethical dishonesty by lawyers can be enough to take action.
"A sanction would be imposed against the attorney's license ranging anywhere from admonition which is private and wouldn't name the attorney, all the way up to disbarment," Kennedy said.
Again the case should go to the jury on Monday. And if you think it's unusual for a lawyer to be on trial facing criminal charges, you're right. Court observers tell us it's only the second case in at least the last two decades in Vermont.


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On the tape Neisner claims he left the scene because he was afraid the scary biker would hurt him if he stopped.

There's three angles to this...

1. You did just break his leg. I don't think he's going to be running very far.
2. Maybe he was a cute and cuddly biker with forgiveness in his heart.
3. You think? Dipshit.
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