Friday, January 9, 1998
Walls jury seated; trial begins
A jury was seated late Thursday
afternoon to hear the criminal
trial of Roger Walls, former
head of the 7th Judicial District
Drug Task Force.
Opening arguments and testimony
Jury selection took longer
than expected as U.S. District
Judge Stephen Reasoner questioned
about pretrial publicity.
Walls faces charges of racketeering,
conspiracy to manufacture
drugs and conspiracy
to extort money. Former Prosecuting
Attorney Dan Harmon
of Benton, who was indicted
along with Walls, was convicted
last summer in a publicized
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan
Stripling told potential jurors
that the government has agreed
to seek sentence reductions for
several convicted criminals for
testimony against Walls.
"A lot of the people who are
going to testify here are in the
penitentiary," Stripling said.
Defense attorney Jack Lassiter
said he expects the trial to
last until at least Tuesday.
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