Mike Ramsey, the defense attorney for former Enron Corp. Chairman Ken Lay, dropped a bombshell Thursday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling, asking the lead witness if he had told a former co-worker and friend that he didn’t commit the crimes he had pleaded guilty to.

Ramsey, a gentlemanly defense attorney who favors black cowboy boots over lace-ups with his business suits, took his gloves off when he began questioning the government’s first witness, Mark Koenig, Enron’s former investor relations chief.

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