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Beavers says he won't testify at his trial

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:00 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:39 p.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County commissioner has told a judge he will not testify at his tax evasion trial.

William Beavers stood before the judge Wednesday afternoon and said it was his decision not to take the stand.

He appeared calm but somber as he told the court, "That's a decision I made your honor."

Beavers has pleaded not guilty to charges he failed to report campaign cash used for gambling as income on his federal tax returns.

Judge James Zagel has ruled only Beavers can tell jurors he belatedly paid overdue taxes. And only Beavers can say that any mistakes on his taxes were unintentional.

But Beavers would have been subject to potentially damaging cross-examination by prosecutors if he took the stand.

Defense attorneys rested their case this afternoon.

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