|Gardnerville nursery owner Jerry Keenan, convicted by a federal jury early this month of lying to federal agents looking into an attempted IRS bombing in Reno last year, has asked a federal judge to overturn the verdict. [original story]|
| No testimony given during the
trial provided any support for the verdict, argued Keenan
attorney Ben Walker in a motion filed Thursday in U.S.
The agents, from the FBI and BATF, had visited Keenan's home shortly before midnight on Dec. 19, two days after an attempted bombing of Reno's Internal Revenue Service building. Eventually arrested and charged with the bombing was Joseph Bailie, of Gardnerville-Minden.
Keenan, never a suspect in the bomb attempt, was initially charged by the U.S. Attorney's office with eight instances of lying -- three to federal agents and five to a federal grand jury. Before the case went to the jury, however, federal Judge Howard McKibben dismissed four of the allegations, finding that the government had produced no supporting evidence. The jury then considered the remaining charges -- two of lying to the agents and two of lying to the grand jury.
Jurors acquitted the Gardnerville businessman of lying to the federal grand jury, but found him guilty of the indictment's first count, which comprised the two lying-to-agents charges. Deducing which charge it was from the similarity of the other to a grand jury charge for which Keenan was found not guilty, defense counsel Walker said jurors must have decided Keenan's statement that Bailie had only visited the nursery once, some months before the bombing attempt, was false.
However, argued Walker in his motion, the name 'Joe Bailie'
never was used by the federal agents
interviewing Keenan at his home late that night. At that
time neither the agents nor Keenan knew that last name,
which was not learned by agents until the next day, when
Bailie's employer was contacted, FBI agent William Jonkey
acknowledged in trial testimony.
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