A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge on Thursday threw out a second major charge in the conspiracy case against former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s (R) campaign manager in his 2010 bid to retake the governor’s mansion.
Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill ruled that state prosecutors had not elicited enough evidence for a jury to weigh if Paul E. Schurick had obstructed justice in a criminal probe of whether Schurick had ordered Election Day robo-calls to suppress black voter turnout.
Prosecutors had alleged sensitive pages of a document entrusted to Schurick had not been turned over as required under a subpoena.
The decision leaves two conspiracy charges as the most potentially punitive for Schurick. Each carries a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The fourth day of Schurick’s trial Thursday was a star-studded one with former Maryland governors Marvin Mandel and Ehrlich, as well as former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele taking the stand. All were character witnesses, attesting to Schurick’s honesty and integrity.
Schurick’s defense is expected to continue Friday, and the case is expected to be sent to a jury early next