When police responded to a shooting report last September at a Southwest Washington apartment, they not only found John M. Mudd with a bullet in the side of his head, but they discovered six boxes that turned out to be parts of a Wang computer.
The boxes were marked "U.S. Department of Commerce," according a police affadavit, and when Mudd recovered from his wounds he was arrested.
Late Tuesday, a federal court jury here convicted Mudd, 52, who owns Fair Liquors at 5008 First St. NW, of receiving stolen government property. He also was found guilty of possessing three unregistered handguns and unregistered ammunition found in his apartment at 429 N St. SW.
The jury also convicted another defendant, James H. Davis, 37, of possessing the stolen computer.
Davis, a taxi driver, testified that he had given the computer to Mudd at a gas station for $900. Mudd acknowledged receiving it from Davis there, but both men insisted that they were not aware that the equipment was stolen government property.
Davis, of 629 Acker St. NE, said that he had received the computer, which was valued at $7,000, from a friend named T. Lee who has since committed suicide.
At the five-day trial, character witnesses for Mudd included David Wilmot, a professor at Georgetown Law School, who said that Mudd was a well-known tennis player and coach and had a good reputation.
But D.C. police detective Thomas Johnson testified that when he talked to Mudd in the hospital nine days after the shooting, Mudd told him: "It was stupid, stupid, stupid. I paid $900 for that thing. A friend of mine . . . told me to get rid of it. I should have done it then. I knew it was hot. I saw 'Department of something or other' on it."
Mudd said that he had been under heavy medication at that time and did not remember talking to the detective.
During the trial, Mudd said that he had been shot by a woman with whom he shared the apartment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Tapp said that, so far, Mudd has refused to testify about the incident before a grand jury.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas P. Jackson set sentencing for June 10. Maximum penalties on the stolen property charge are 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Mudd also could receive a maximum of two years on the weapons conviction.