Randolph Deputies, Pocahontas Postal Employees Testify in Federal Snake-Mailing Trial

January 21, 2004 - Posted at 5:33 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The first full day of testimony in the federal trial of a Pocahontas attorney and his son charged with sending a poisonous snake through the U.S. mail wrapped up this afternoon in Little Rock.

Bob Castleman and his 20-year-old son Robert Jerrod Castleman are accused of sending the snake to a man who allegedly shot holes in the lawyer's SUV.  The parcel arrived on September 30, 2002 and was opened by his wife, Kathy.  The box contained a live copperhead.  A Randolph County Sheriff's deputy responding to the incident shot and killed the snake. Prosecutors claim Bob Castleman's fingerprints were found on tape on the box.  The elder Castleman is also charged with witness tampering.

The Statons were among those testifying for the prosecution today, along with Sheriff's deputies Chris Weinbaugh and Rudy Berry, and Pocahontas post office employees Don Tillee, Stacy Sheets and Bill Lemons.  Derek Neece, a witness who was reportedly with Kathy Staton when the parcel was opened, also testified.

While on the stand Monday afternoon, Albert Staton said the entire incident arose as the result of a dispute that began when the younger Castleman allegedly sold Staton a faulty four-wheeler and became belligerent when Staton and his wife asked him to pay for repairs.