HAGERSTOWN -- The trial of a state prison inmate charged with assaulting a correctional officer ended abruptly Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court after the testimony -- and handwriting -- of a state witness were called into question.
Robert Jackson, an inmate at Roxbury Correctional Institution, was charged with second-degree assault on a corrections employee in an incident at the prison Jan. 31, 2009. After testimony by the alleged victim, Officer Marvin Gillespie, the state called Officer Aaron Miller to the stand.
On cross-examination, Assistant Public Defender Jerome Joyce questioned Miller about whether he actually wrote a witness statement after the incident.
Miller testified that he had written the statement.
Joyce then showed Miller another document written by another prison officer, Lt. Mark Gonzalez.
Joyce then asked Miller for a sample of his handwriting, and had him write a sentence from the witness statement said to be his.
After comparing Miller's handwriting sample to the witness statement, Joyce said he believed that Gonzalez had written the statement. He then asked Miller if he wanted to change his testimony.