Boswell trial scheduled to begin Tuesday
By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Feb. 19, 2001
Lauderdale County District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell is expected to go to trial Tuesday to face allegations he falsely registered voters in his November 1999 election.
Boswell pleaded not guilty to all nine counts in August after a grand jury indicted him in July on seven counts of false voter registration and two counts of attempted false voter registration in connection with the election. The indictments allege Boswell delivered 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, citing a need to avoid "a situation in which a nephew would be required to provide testimony which would incriminate his uncle."
The state in its motion to dismiss the charge, said Boswell was accused of procuring false voter registration through his nephew, Joseph Wayne Boswell, but that his nephew had "previously expressed his reluctance to testify in this trial … "
Boswell won the November election with a four-vote lead over then-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.
Boswell's attorneys, Robert Jones and Joe Clay Hamilton, had attempted to reach an agreement with the state at the time the count was dismissed, but because the parties were unable to reach an agreement, motions were dropped and the court date was set.
Because both Lauderdale County Circuit judges Larry Roberts and Robert Bailey recused themselves in the case, Madison County Circuit Judge Robert L. Goza will preside over trial.
The trial is set for 9 a.m. in the Lauderdale County Circuit Court.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.