The defense in a federal discrimination trial was up to bat in Phoenix federal court Wednesday.
Lawyers representing Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT began presenting their case in the Department of Justice's discrimination lawsuit against the twin border towns.
The first witness called to the stand by the defense was longtime Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow.
Barlow told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not control the municipal government in Hildale.
"Would you ever discriminate based on religion?" defense attorney Blake Hamilton asked Barlow.
"I will not," Barlow answered.
"All the government has done so is put the church on trial," defense attorney Jeff Matura told me outside court. "Now it's our turn to talk about the facts."
The defense's case is expected to run through most of next week.
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