The trial of the second of two men accused of trying to fix the political corruption case of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel began in federal court here today with the selection of jurors from a panel of 68 Maryland residents.
Court personnel would not say tonight how many jurors had been chosen to hear the case of 51-year-old Charles Edward Neiswender. The jury selection is expected to continue at least through Wednesday morning.
Neiswender is accused of placing a phone call to Mandel's attorney, Arnold Weiner, in late September, a few weeks after the governor's trial began, and offering of fix the trial in return for a payment of $20,000.
After Neiswender allegedly was contacted by a postal inspector, he was arrested Nov. 5 outside his home in Cinnaminson, N.J., and immediately transported to the Harford County jail in Maryland, where he was held under $1 million bail.
Neiswender was released Nov. 15, but the news of his alleged attempt to fix the trial did not become public until December, after the arrest of furniture salesman Walter Weikers, who has since been convicted of attempting to bribe a juror in the Mandel case.
In an apparently unrelated incident today, a member of the jury panel in another case in federal court was arrested at the front desk of the courthouse when guards discovered a loaded a derringer in his flight bag.
Richard David Dick, 38, of Frederick, Md. - a former Maryland state trooper in the Rockville barracks - was released on his own recognizance after being charged by the U.S. attorneys with unlawful possession of firearm of federal property.