Crime

Jury selected in Clay vote-fraud case

Attorneys in a vote-fraud case against eight Clay County residents chose a jury panel Tuesday, clearing the way for opening arguments to begin Wednesday.

There are 16 people on the panel. All will hear testimony, but four alternates will be removed from the panel before it begins deliberating.

The indictment in the case alleges that the eight took part in a conspiracy to buy or steal votes between 2002 and 2007.

Those charged are former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle; former school Superintendent Douglas Adams; county Clerk Freddy W. Thompson; Magistrate Stanley Bowling; former election officers Charles Wayne Jones and William Stivers; and William "Bart" Morris and his wife, Debra Morris.

The eight deny the charges. Attorneys have argued that some prosecution witnesses have lied.

The case is part of a federal investigation dating back several years in which a number of public officials and prominent Clay County residents have been charged.

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