Will she or won’t she? Testimony by defendant in Pitino extortion case up in the air

By Brett Barrouquere, AP
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Testimony by woman in Pitino case up in the air

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The defense gets its turn in the trial of a woman accused of trying to extort millions from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The question left hanging is whether the defendant, 50-year-old Karen Cunagin Sypher, will testify. Her defense begins Wednesday.

The prosecution rested Tuesday after 21 witnesses and seven days of lurid, sometimes sexually graphic testimony.

Sypher’s attorney, James Earhart, has given no indication about whether his client will speak under oath about the charges that she demanded $10 million, college tuition for her children, and her house to be paid off in exchange for her silence about a July 2003 sexual tryst with Pitino.

Sypher, has pleaded not guilty to extortion, retaliating against a witness and lying to the FBI.

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