A federal judge has blocked a prosecutor’s attempt to show a jury a CBS News story about Spokane Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks.
U.S. District Court Judge Frem Nielsen made his ruling Friday after Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Wilson rested the prosecution’s case.
Wilson had sought to show the all-white jury a 1994 CBS News segment on Marks, produced for the network show “Eye-to-Eye.”
Marks and seven other members of his family, including his wife, Jane, and brother, Bobby, are on trial on charges of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
The trial is set to enter its third week on Monday, when defense attorneys are expected to ask the judge to dismiss the case.
The eight defendants, all from Spokane, are accused of harassing and assaulting other members of their extended family who were subpoenaed to help defend the city of Spokane in a $40 million civil rights lawsuit.
The television network heard about the suit and decided to send a crew to Spokane. The crew filmed one of two family fights that the prosecution says are the instances of witness intimidation.
In the CBS segment, Jimmy Marks claims he put a “Gypsy hex” upon the city because its officials have stalled and not settled the lawsuit.
His hex caused several tragedies, including a B-52 crash and a shooting rampage, Marks claimed.
The segment also shows him apparently staging an event in which he is chased away from another Gypsy home to prove he is an outcast in the Gypsy community.
The judge said it would “be highly prejudicial” to show the tape to the jury.
“The rest of it isn’t meaningful at all” to the case before the jury, Nielsen said.