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franklin county times

Boswell trial enters second day

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Feb. 21, 2001
Opening arguments and testimony were likely to begin today in the trial of Lauderdale County District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell on charges of false voter registration.
A 12-member jury selected Tuesday reported back at 9 a.m. before Circuit Judge Robert L. Goza of Madison County. Goza is presiding over the trial because the two Lauderdale County Circuit judges Larry Roberts and Robert Bailey  recused themselves.
Boswell pleaded not guilty in August after a grand jury returned an indictment against him in July alleging seven counts of false voter registration and two counts of attempted false voter registration. The indictments accuse Boswell of delivering voter registration forms with fraudulent addresses of people who lived outside District 5.
Two weeks ago, the state dismissed one count of false voter registration, saying Boswell's nephew, Joseph Wayne Boswell, had expressed a "reluctance to testify" and they wanted to avoid a situation in which a nephew would be required to "provide testimony which would incriminate his uncle."
Meanwhile, family members waited outside the courtroom for the trial to begin. Boswell's daughter, Tanya Jay, said she and other family members were confident of their father's innocence.
Boswell won the November election with a four-vote lead over incumbent Jerry Creel. Prior to Creel's term, Boswell had served as District 5 supervisor for two consecutive terms.
After Creel filed a formal complaint, Chancery Court Judge William H. Myers of Pascagoula declared the election "canceled and set aside" and ordered a new election.
In the second race, Boswell won by a 105-vote margin and was sworn into office on Feb. 15.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.