Cellini judge to rule on retrial motion

May 31, 2012

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — A federal judge is expect to rule on a defense request to toss out the convictions of a long-time Illinois power broker at the last trial directly related to a decade-long investigation of imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Springfield millionaire William Cellini is scheduled to appear in a Chicago courtroom Thursday to hear Judge James Zagel's decision on whether to order a retrial.

Jurors last year convicted Cellini of conspiring to shake down the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby." He's expected to be sentenced later this year. His convictions carry a combined maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Cellini attorneys contend the judge made multiple errors at trial that denied their client a fair trial.

Such defense motions are standard procedure after convictions but are rarely granted.