Lawyers for defendants in the Singer-Swapp trial have filed a motion for mistrial, based on the testimony of Addam Swapp and the refusal of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins to order separate trials.
The motion was filed Monday, the day before closing arguments were scheduled.All defendants attempted to sever the matter into separate trials at the start of the case, but Jenkins refused.
When U.S. Attorney Brent D. Ward cross-examined Swapp Thursday, he asked about the killing of Lt. Fred House. Defense lawyers said "objection" in unison, then Jenkins ruled the question stricken.
Some testimony had already been entered about the death of House.
Defendants claim these references were prejudicial, since nobody has been charged with killing House. Murder is a state charge, not covered by the federal laws, and a state complaint is expected later.
When Swapp testified, he said the spirit of resistance burned in everybody's heart, referring to the 13-day standoff at Marion, Summit County. That tends to brand all defendants as rebels, defense lawyers say.
Also, Swapp refused court orders to tes-tify about any of the other defendants. That itself was indirect finger-pointing, as it implies he is shielding them, according to the defense.