Trial Underway for Pocahontas Lawyer Charged With Mailing Copperhead

January 20, 2004 - Posted at 4:15 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A jury was selected today and opening arguments got underway this afternoon in Little Rock in the federal trial of a Pocahontas attorney charged with sending a live venomous snake through the U.S. mail to a Pocahontas resident.

Bob Castleman and his son Jerrod were indicted last summer by a federal grand jury on charges of mailing a threatening communication and mailing a non-mailable matter with the intent to injure or kill.

The elder Castleman is also charged with witness tampering.

The indictments stem from a bizarre incident in which the Castlemans allegedly mailed a Copperhead to a residence in Pocahontas.  The serpent was still alive when the package was opened, and Randolph County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and shot the reptile.

The indictments are the result of a joint investigation by the Randolph County Sheriff's Department, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service.