Federal Judge Dismisses Three Counts Against Earle Alderman

JUNE 16, 2004 - Posted at 3:30 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The shaky testimony of a witness who couldn't remember if she changed her own vote in the 2002 general election led a judge today to throw out three of six charges against a former Earle alderman in a voter fraud trial.

U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele said the government did not have enough evidence to convict former alderman Lee Johnson on counts of conspiracy and perjury in connection with absentee ballots that he handled and that were changed.

The government alleges Johnson changed ballots in the 2002 election or directed others to change ballots so they counted for him, Jesse Selvy and Robert Malone in alderman races, Sylvia Layton for recorder-treasurer and Sherman Smith for mayor.

Johnson's trial in Little Rock continues on one count of voting more than once and one count of procuring false ballots.

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