The appeals court judges did not rule Thursday, and it is unclear when they will. The judges' questions centered not on the facts of the case but on legal precedents and rules of civil procedure. The hearing Thursday was on the defendants' appeal of the trial judge's decision to deny their motion to dismiss the case.
Rehberg's attorney, Bryan Vroon of Atlanta, argued Thursday that Hodges and Paulk, and later Burke, conspired to fabricate testimony to gain the indictments. Hodges recused himself from the case in May 2005 after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about the case. But, Vroon said, Hodges admitted he continued to work on the case, which stripped him of his immunity.
"We argue he was not entitled to immunity because his efforts were as an investigator," not a prosecutor, he said.