- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - In opening statements, an attorney for former Arkansas treasurer Martha Shoffner told jurors that his client should have only been cited for an ethics violation, not charged with a crime.

On Thursday, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes to block defense attorney Chuck Banks from making that argument again for the rest of the trial.

Holmes did not rule immediately on the motion but told Banks to approach the bench if he intended to raise the subject. The judge said he’d rule on the basis of the context of the questioning until he makes a final ruling.

Banks said during opening statements that Shoffner should not have been charged in federal court for accepting $36,000 from broker Steele Stephens. Testimony in the trial began Thursday.

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