Home / National News / Prosecution Will Not Call On Rielle Hunter in John Edwards Trial


(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — Rielle Hunter will not testify as a witness for the prosecution during the John Edwards trial.  Though much of the trial hinges on Edwards’ relationship with his mistress Rielle Hunter, the prosecution said it would rest its case Thursday without calling Hunter as a witness.

Hunter had been on the list of potential witnesses the prosecution might call. Though the government will pass on putting Hunter on the stand, Edwards’ defense team may still do so.

“There is one person who seems to be at the center of all of this, these spinning planets, and that’s Rielle Hunter,” Steve Friedland, professor of law at Elon University, told ABC News.

Still, on one of the last days of the prosecution’s case, the poignant testimony of Jennifer Palmieri, a longtime friend of Elizabeth Edwards who worked as a spokeswoman for John Edwards’ presidential campaign, recounted Elizabeth’s last days before she passed away in December 2010.  She testified Wednesday that up until John Edwards officially claimed paternity of his mistress’s daughter, his dying wife Elizabeth clung to his lies that he was not the father and on her deathbed lamented that she would die alone because of his indiscretions.

“She was not able to speak at this stage,” Palmieri, who now works for the Obama White House, said through tears.

“But before [she died, Elizabeth] expressed concerns because she didn’t want to be alone,” Palmieri told a rapt courtroom. “When she and John separated…she was concerned there would not be a man around to love her and I said: ‘I would be there.'”

Edwards’ daughter Cate, 30, who has been at her father’s side almost every day of the trial, left the courtroom before Palmieri’s emotional testimony about her mother’s dying days. Cate also left the courtroom last week just before testimony about her distraught mother confronting Edwards about the affair on an airport tarmac, collapsing on the ground and tearing off her blouse.

As Palmieri testified, Edwards, on trial for allegedly using campaign funds to cover up his mistress Rielle Hunter and love child, rubbed his eyes and pressed his forehead against his hand. Edwards claims the money was used to hide the girlfriend from his wife, not the government.

If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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