Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State May Add Witnesses in Officer's Trial

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State May Add Witnesses in Officer's Trial

Article excerpt

********** CORRECTION February 6, 2001

The federal government is prosecuting former Jacksonville police officers on several charges including homicide. Because of an editor's error, a headline on yesterday's B-1 was incorrect.

***************

Oddities in federal court yesterday hinted that prosecutors are working on adding a key player to their stable of witnesses against former Jacksonville police officer Karl Waldon, charged in a homicide and series of robberies.

James Swift Jr., Waldon's brother-in-law and co-defendant in the case, appeared for a detention hearing in the custody of state and local investigators, who took him in and out of handcuffs and led him off after the hearing. Only deputy U.S. marshals have had such contact in court with Swift in previous court hearings.

Also, Swift was wearing a blue shirt, green pants and slippers yesterday rather than the orange Duval County jail jumpsuit he had been wearing to court as late as Friday. Duval County jail records checked yesterday indicate that Swift was checked out of the jail at 5:55 p.m. on Friday to another jurisdiction, though the records did not say where he is being held or why he was moved.

Swift is still being held without bail, as yesterday's detention hearing was postponed for a week at the request of his attorney, William R. Martin. Martin said he needed to resolve an issue he said could have a severe impact on the hearing. He also said he's attempting to look at a piece of evidence but didn't elaborate and wasn't asked to by U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Corrigan.

Swift, 26, told the Times-Union in an interview before his arrest in December that investigators had been trying to get information from him for months. He said he had been questioned by police and was called before a grand jury twice about everything ranging from his relationship with Waldon to where he was in early July 1998, when convenience store owner Sami Safar was slain. …

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