Tennessee Waltz prosecutors are hoping to keep witnesses in Roscoe Dixon's trial from talking about something called "selective prosecution" and the suggestion that the government targeted black lawmakers in its sting.
Attorney Coleman Garrett lost his fight last week to have the case against his client, former State Senator Roscoe Dixon thrown out.
The judge said lawyers could not argue that federal agents set their sites on black lawmakers.
And now, in a motion newly filed in federal court, prosecutors don't want witnesses to talk about it either.
"I don't begin to guess at what the counsel's goal is in his defense, but I certainly think the defendant has a right to put on his defense," says Lorna McCluskey, attorney for State Senator Kathryn Bowers. Selective prosecution is one of the defenses she will likely consider as well.
The Dixon case will be watched by many, for many more reasons than this.
It is likely the same witnesses will be called in multiple cases, some of the evidence and testimony will be the same and attorneys, like McCluskey, will learn what to anticipate when it's their turn in court.
The motion, filed by prosecutors, asks the judge to prevent defense attorneys from even asking witnesses about selective prosecution in front of a jury and it sends a strong message to the other Tennessee Waltz defendants about what they will face as their trials approach.
"I would expect that now if they think that we're going to use this, than we can look forward to this same sheet of paper in our trial," says McCluskey.
She and her client, Kathryn Bowers, go to court next on June 1st.