Giannini takes stand in bond hearing

Giannini takes stand in bond hearing

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mid-South businessman and accused rapist Mark Giannini took the stand during his bond hearing.

Giannini was found not guilty in his first rape trial, but he never took the stand during the week-long trial. Wednesday, the judge called Giannini and his friend to testify about threats against a juror.

Giannini and his attorneys requested a $3 million bond for Giannini. That would allow him to leave jail and stay at his home under house arrest and GPS monitoring. Giannini is awaiting two rape cases, a drug case, and attempted bribery case.

Prosecutors argued against giving Giannini a bond. They said Giannini's accused history of tampering and intimidation should preclude him from leaving his jail cell.

"He doesn't have a whole bunch of regard for the law," prosecutor Carrie Bush said.

Bush said Shelby County deputies intercepted a parcel of mail intended for Giannini in jail. Inside were documents including contact information to those close to the case like investigator Barbara Tolbert. Giannini said he believed Tolbert, along with others, conspired to prosecute him.

"Mrs. Tolbert was very much focused on this case to the fact that as it came in some documents she was purchasing things for the alleged victim," Giannini said.

Bush said investigators believe Giannini's friend Diane Gordon sent the parcel, and her involvement in the case continued to the point where Gordon was caught on a recorded phone call to Giannini in jail threatening a juror in the previous trial.

"[Gordon] told Mr. Giannini there would be consequences for this juror," Bush said.

Judge Mark Ward called Gordon from the seating area to address the accusation.

"I don't have any problem ma'am--based upon that phone--signing a warrant for your arrest and putting you in jail," Judge Ward said.

Judge Ward continued and said if bond was gr anted there would be a no contact order with Gordon.

Giannini's attorney Steve Farese said he had just heard about the phone call with Gordon. He said he would review the information before issuing a response. Farese also said Gordon was not a factor in the bond hearing.

Judge Ward said he should have a ruling by May 10.

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