Sex with McVeigh's Juror!
By Ted Bridis - ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury indicted a former deputy U.S. marshal Tuesday on charges of perjury and lying, alleging that he began an improper relationship with an alternate juror days after the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh.
Benny Bailey of Denver, who was responsible for taking jurors to the courthouse, could face up to five years in prison on each of two counts plus a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.
Investigators said they found no evidence of improper contacts with the McVeigh jury during the 1997 trial or deliberations.
The indictment alleges that Bailey lied to his supervisor when he denied having a "romantic, intimate or sexual relationship" with this alternate juror, who was not identified by name in the court papers. It also accused Bailey of lying about the nature of the relationship during a December 1998 court hearing. He retired in December 2000 after 29 years.
The indictment said Bailey told the McVeigh trial judge that he spoke by telephone about 15 times with the juror and met her twice for dinner. Prosecutors said the two actually called each other more than 350 times between June 1997 and May 1998, and that the pair "became involved in an intimate relationship that involved repeated meetings" at Bailey's home.
The McVeigh trial began in April 1997 and ended on June 13, 1997. Judge Richard Matsch, who presided over McVeigh's trial, had previously ruled that the alleged relationship did not taint the jury's deliberations.
Bailey was a supervisory deputy marshal who took jurors from their morning meetings to the courthouse, then back to their meetings at day's end.
The investigation into the alleged relationship began after a letter was faxed anonymously to McVeigh's attorneys, accusing Bailey of trying to influence the trial's outcome by persuading the juror of McVeigh's guilt.
McVeigh was convicted June 2, 1997, of murder and conspiracy for the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. He was executed in June of last year.
The grand jury handed down the indictment in Denver, where the trial took place. The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General investigated the case, and its Public Integrity Section is prosecuting Bailey.