Prosecutors Ask To Use Taped Interview of Elderly Witness in Trial of Former Batesville Prosecutor

January 28, 2004 - Posted at 7:20 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Federal prosecutors are asking to use a videotaped interview of a 95-year-old witness in bringing former prosecutor T.J. Hively to trial a second time.

In a filing Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney's office said Willie E. Clark was interviewed June 15, 2001, with lawyers for both sides present.  Prosecutors say it would be difficult for Clark to testify now.

Hively ran the prosecutor's office in Batesville.  His first trial on racketeering, extortion and mail fraud charges ended in March 2001 after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The charges stem from allegations during his six-year term as prosecutor of the 16th Judicial District, which covers Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard and Stone counties.

The original indictment accused Hively in 64 counts.  Sixteen counts remain after a previous judge threw out 48 counts.  Two others are also charged.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)