Last March, former Prince George's County assistant sheriff Jimmy Carter moved into Sheriff Don Ansell's old office in the circuit court in Upper Marlboro and was assigned Ansell's old desk.
One day about a month later when he tried to pry open a bottom drawer, Carter testified yesterday, he found wedged between the drawer and the desk a notebook containing the names of persons who had purchased tickets to the 1976 deputy of the year banquet and the amount of ticket money collected.
Carter related that story on the witness stand yesterday in the third day of Ansell's trial on charges of misappropriating nearly $2,000 in banquet funds.
Carter testified that two of the entries in the notebook appeared to be in Ansell's handwriting. It was the name of Maj. Guy Williams, the assistant sheriff indicted along with Ansell in connection with the alleged missappropriation of banquet funds that appeared on the notebook, however, Carter said.
Carter said he turned the notebook over to his lawyer because he knew the Prince George's County states attorney's office was investigating Ansell. The attorney then gave the notebook to the prosecutors.
Prosecutors introduced the notebook as evidence yesterday in an effort to show that Ansell may have had knowledge of just who bought tickets and how much money was collected through the sale of tickets.
Most of the 53 witnesses who testified yesterday, however, were attorneys or businessmen who had bought --to 15 tickets for the awards banquet. Several of the witnesses said they meant the money as a donation towards the affair and did not attend the banquet, which was held Sept. 10, 1976, in a garage at the Sheraton-Lanham motel.
Two of the witnesses said they thought their donation was going toward a cash award for the person who would be honored as the "deputy of the year" at a banquet.
Ansell is charged with putting to his own personal use $1,920 of the proceeds from ticket sales, then failing to report that income on his state income tax return and lying to a grand jury about it. The prosecution contends Ansell used the money to pay for his children's private school tuition.
In the first three days of testimony the prosecution has been able to account for $4,980 in ticket sales. The prosecution contends the banquet cost about $4,800 to put on and that the sheriff pocketed some of the surplus ticket money that was paid by check.
Assistant State's Attorney Robert Bonsib produced several checks in court yesterday that had been endorsed with the signature "Don Edward Ansell." Defense attorney Victor Toulon had Ansell write his signature on a slip of paper and then asked several witnesses to compare that signature with the one on their check. The witnesses testified that there appeared to be between the handwriting on Toulon's paper and the signature on the checks.