UPDATED: Boyd jury has question about one-word difference between indictment, law

By: Rob Pratt, Michael Grider Email
By: Rob Pratt, Michael Grider Email

UPDATE1: 4/16/08 1:58 p.m. -- Judge Tom Varlan has instructed the jury that the indictment in merely a charging document, and the jury must decide if Boyd is guilty of the offenses contained in the law.

The indictment alleges Boyd "did receive, relieve, comfort and assist the offender, Lemaricus Devall Davidson...in order to hinder and prevent" Davidson's arrest." (Emphasis added.)

The actual law says, "Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact." (Emphasis added.)

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury that is set to decide the fate of accused murder accessory defendant Eric DeWayne Boyd has asked U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan for a clarification between two words -- and and or.

When prosecutors indicted Boyd, the word and was used in the list of accusations leveled against him, but the actual law Boyd is charged under uses the word or when listing the individual aspects of being an accessory to the crime.

Now, the jury wants to know which word they need to be considering -- and or or.

Judge Varlan is considering how to instruct the jury, and we'll have the details for you as soon as they become available.


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