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updated: 3/20/2013 9:03 AM

Beavers trial enters homestretch

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Associated Press

Lawyers for a Cook County commissioner get their chance to mount a defense against charges the Chicago Democrat failed to report campaign cash used for gambling as income on his tax returns.

One unanswered question heading proceedings in the tax-evasion trial Wednesday is whether William Beavers will take the stand as he vowed to do.

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Presiding Judge James Zagel told the courtroom Tuesday he expects the commissioner's attorneys to start and finish their case Wednesday.

That could mean the judge doesn't think Beavers will take the stand since defendants' testimony can typically last days.

But the defense could call Beavers and ask him just a few questions in hopes of getting him on and off the stand quickly.

Beavers has pleaded not guilty to four tax-related charges.

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