A federal judge Monday dismissed three felony criminal charges against the wife of Spokane Gypsy leader Jimmy Marks.
U.S. District Judge Frem Nielsen dismissed conspiracy, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice charges against Jane Marks.
The judge ruled the prosecution produced insufficient evidence against her to allow the case to proceed.
The dismissal came near the end of the prosecution’s case against her, her husband, their three sons, and three other relatives.
Nielsen postponed rulings for dismissal of charges facing her sons, David and Michael, as well as Steve and Richard Marks.
The judge denied defense attorneys’ requests to dismiss charges against Jimmy Marks, his son, Tommy, and Bobby Marks.
“I’m completely pleased, and so is my client,” said defense attorney George Critchlow, who requested dismissal of the charges against Jane Marks.
“The judge’s finding is consistent with what my client’s position has been since she was indicted,” Critchlow said.
The defendants are accused of harassing and intimidating witnesses who were subpoenaed to testify for the city of Spokane in its defense in a pending civil rights suit filed by some members of the Marks family.
Defense attorneys argue the dispute, including a fight in 1994, was nothing more than an extended family fight.
After the judge’s rulings, defense attorneys abruptly ended their case by calling only three witnesses and playing a newly obtained, unedited network videotape.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Wilson earlier played other unedited portions of network video shot before and after a 1994 fight between various factions of the Marks family.
The network crew came to Spokane in 1994 to film a segment on Jimmy Marks for the show “Eye-to-Eye.” The judge ruled Friday that the jury wouldn’t see the edited broadcast show.
None of the defendants took the stand.
Closing arguments are scheduled today before the case goes to a federal court jury.
Wilson told the judge that he was surprised the network hadn’t, in his view, complied with an earlier court-issued subpoena for additional videotape.
He asked for more time to pursue release of the other video, but the judge said it was too late to pursue that.
“I’m not inclined to delay the trial,” Nielsen said.
Defense attorneys called a state welfare records clerk who brought records showing that prosecution witnesses John and Barbara Marks had fraudulently obtained state welfare.
Defense attorney Pete Schweda played the unedited CBS video that shows Jimmy Marks predicting trouble if he and and the network crew went to John and Barbara’s home.
Testifying as prosecution witnesses, John and Barbara Marks both told the jury that they never heard of the Gypsy Church of the Northwest. The church is a plaintiff in the civil rights suit against the city.
But defense attorneys called Gary Randall, a Gonzaga Law School professor and lawyer, who drafted legal papers for the church 11 years ago.
The church was formed to assist members of the Marks family with federal income tax problems they faced after more than $1 million in cash was seized by police in a Spokane Gypsy leader’s home.
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