Because of a typographical error, the verdict of a judge in a criminal trial was incorrectly reported in yesterday's Washington Post. William G. Christmas, of Monkton, Md., was found innocent of contempt of court for not showing up to testify at the political corruption trial of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel.
A jury of six men and six women was chosen today to hear the case of 51-year-old Charles Edward Neiswender, the New Jersey man charges with attempting to fix the outcome of the political corruption trial of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel.
Today's selection of the 12 jurors and six alternates ended the two-day long process of jury selection in the case, which is the second obstruction of justice case stemming from the Mandel trial to be heard here this month.
Three weeks ago, Pikesville furniture salesman Walter Weikers was convicted of obstruction of justice for offering a $10,000 bribe to a juror in the Mandel case.
Neiswender, of Cinnaminson, N.J., is accused of soliciting a $20,000 bribe from the chief Mandel denfense attorney, Arnold M. Weiner, in return for fixing the case.
The 16 people selected for jury service in the Neiswender trial will be sequestered in a downtown Baltimore hotel, as were their counterparts on the Weikers jury. Opening statements morning.
In a related case today, a 51-year-old horse breeder, who had been scheduled as a witness in the Mandel trial last fall, was found guilty of contempt of court for not showing up to testify in the trial.
U.S. District Court Judge Dorsey Watkins said today that he had determined "with a certain amount of reluctance" that William G. Christmas, of Monkton, Md., was not guilty of contempt. The judge ruled that prosecutors from the United States Attorney's Office in Baltimore had not proved that Christmas actually received a subpoena from them.