By Deb Murphy

The judge in the marathon embezzlement trial of Dawndee Rossy granted the defense’s request for time to respond to his tentative rulings during Friday’s brief court session.

The defense now has until June 10 to respond; the prosecution has until June 17 to respond to the defense’s response. Additional arguments may be given in court on June 24 with June 27 scheduled for the trial to resume.

Appointed Judge Philip Argento has spent the past two months reviewing more than 500 pieces of evidence in a trial involving 137 counts ranging from identity theft to the primary charge of embezzling $1.5 million from the County’s Department of Health and Human Services where Rossy worked as a supervisor. Argento described his comprehensive ruling as “long, item-by-item.”

Following a 30-minute session in chambers, defense attorney David Evans moved for a continuance allowing time to prepare a written response to the judge’s tentative ruling on the evidence and his draft tentative ruling on the charges.

According to District Attorney Thomas Hardy, Argento’s tentative ruling denied the defense’s objections to the evidence presented. However he did allow for acquittal on identity theft charges if the victim did not appear in court. That ruling will not necessarily reduce the charge that Rossy embezzled $1.5 million.

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