Judge limits evidence in Lowell Barron trial


A Fort Payne judge says prosecutors in the trial of former state Sen. Lowell Barron and campaign aide Jill Johnson can present evidence that their relationship was more than professional, but they can't discuss whether the relationship was romantic.Circuit Judge Randall Cole issued an order Thursday that said presenting such testimony would create a danger of prejudice. Barron's attorneys say the relationship was professional.Barron and Johnson are scheduled to go on trial Monday on ethics and campaign finance charges accusing them of misusing $58,000 in campaign donations from Barron's unsuccessful 2010 re-election campaign.Prosecutors from the state attorney general's office want to use as evidence statements Johnson made to an investigator and to a grand jury, but the judge said Thursday he is reserving a ruling on that.