Defendant balks at Ohio fraud trial testimony

The defense had signaled that he would testify.

CLEVELAND (AP) - The mysterious defendant charged in a $100 million, cross-country veterans charity fraud has balked at testifying at his trial and has asked for time to decide.

The defendant, who identifies himself as 67-year-old Bobby Thompson but has been identified by authorities as Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, was prodded repeatedly Tuesday by the judge on whether he would testify.

There is no requirement to testify, but the judge asked to hear from the defendant directly.

The judge ordered a recess to let the defendant decide and clean up. He had entered court with his shirt unbuttoned to the waist and his hair disheveled.

The defense had signaled that he would testify.

The former fugitive is charged with looting the United States Navy Veterans Association charity that he ran in Tampa, Fla.

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