Pubdate: Sat, 25 Oct 2003
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Copyright: 2003 Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Author: Tom Campbell
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


Ex-State Trooper Also To Face Drug Charges Again At New Trial

Federal prosecutors have filed new drug-conspiracy and related charges 
against former law officers Marshall L. King and Bruno L. Crutchfield, 
whose first convictions were set aside because of perjury allegations.

The superseding indictment charges King, a former state trooper, with 
conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, four counts of failing to report a 
felony and two counts of obstructing justice.

Crutchfield, the former police chief of Brodnax, is charged with the same 
crack-conspiracy count and one count of failing to report a felony.

A new separate indictment charges King with soliciting perjury, obstruction 
of justice and bribery. Those acts are alleged to have taken place in the 
summer of 2002, after the convictions were vacated.

The allegations are that King, in the summer of 2002 just after the 
convictions were set aside, tried to pay one of the prosecution witnesses 
to say a Virginia State Police lieutenant asked him to lie about King in court.

Both U.S. District Court indictments were filed by a grand jury that met in 
Alexandria on Thursday. The new charges against King are likely to be tried 
separately from the drug-related charges.

King and Crutchfield were convicted of a similar conspiracy charge in late 
2000, but that jury acquitted them of multiple drug counts supporting the 
conspiracy allegation. King was also convicted of failing to report a felony.

In April 2001, Judge Robert E. Payne sentenced King to 15 years and eight 
months in prison. Crutchfield got 12 years and seven months.

A year later, King lawyer Matthew P. Geary asked Payne for a new trial 
based on evidence that two key prosecution witnesses had lied in court and 
that one of them, while in jail himself, had recruited other prisoners to 
falsely testify as well.

Payne eventually was convinced that enough of the trial testimony was 
tainted to warrant a new trial. The federal appeals court in Richmond 
affirmed that decision in July.

A new trial for King and Crutchfield, both currently free on bond, is 
scheduled to start Nov. 19. Whether the new charges will delay the trial 
was not clear yesterday.

Payne has not yet ruled on a pretrial motion from Geary that would limit 
prosecution questioning of witnesses at the second trial because, despite 
Payne's findings about perjury, the government has not brought charges. 
Geary argued that the standard questions about whether the witness is 
telling the truth and knows the penalty for perjury should not be asked 
because in some cases there apparently is no penalty.

Geary said yesterday that it seems the government had no trouble alleging 
that King obstructed justice and solicited perjury, "so I don't see why 
they're having such trouble charging people who Judge Payne, in a 40-page 
opinion, found had committed perjury."
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