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.