JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kelly Mathis wiped a tear from his eye as the jury's verdict was read. The local attorney was convicted Friday on 103 illegal gambling and racketeering charges stemming from a statewide investigation of Internet cafes run by the now defunct charity, Allied Veterans of the World.
His attorney Mitch Stone said, "It's a hard pill to swallow."
[Special coverage: Veterans Charity Scandal
Stone said the verdict was hard to hear, but not completely unexpected. He said the jury wasn't allowed to hear evidence that would explain just how gray this law actually is, and how interpretations varied from county to county.
"That was very powerful evidence. That was the heart of our defense," he said.
Stone said Mathis was simply an attorney hired by Allied Vets to advise on the state's gaming laws, not the crime boss the state has made him out to be.
"He was their lawyer. But that doesn't mean he was a business partner or had involvement in their intimate decisions or activities," he said.
Stone hopes he'll have another chance to prove that in a new trial.
He said, "We still have a lot of fight left in us."
Mathis' sentencing is set for Feb 12.