Evidence

Witness-intimidation case against lawyer is dropped


All charges have been dropped against a West Virginia lawyer and his private investigator in a witness-intimidation case, following the deaths of two prosecution witnesses.

Attorney Paul J. Harris and investigator Franklin D. Streets Jr., both 50, had been accused of paying $1,200 to a witness in a criminal case against Harris’ client, a former police officer, to persuade the witness to leave town instead of testifying, reports the Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.

The underlying case against Harris’ client, Kevin B. Junkins Jr., concerns drug evidence that a prosecution motion says was taken from the Shinnston police department and sold to Carl J. “CJ” Wilson. He died of an apparent heroin overdose earlier this month and his wife died of the same cause last year.

“While he is happy to move on, Mr. Harris regrets that the dismissal was caused by the death of the state’s witness, CJ Wilson,” said attorney Robert McCoid, who is representing Harris. “It has been represented to us that Mr. Wilson died from a heroin overdose a couple of weeks ago, as did his wife, Danielle, in September. Mr. Harris regrets their deaths, but he also regrets he was not able to be vindicated on the merits of the case at trial because he believes that Mr. Wilson would have ultimately testified truthfully and thereby would have exonerated him.”

The article doesn’t include any comment from Streets or his counsel.

Hat tip: Associated Press.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “After lawyer is indicted in witness-interference case, client’s trial is postponed”

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