Henson robocall trial postponed
State's chief investigator ill; case to resume Feb. 23
Julius Henson, shown in this November 2010 file photo, is on trial over an Election Day robocall that prosecutors say violated election fraud laws. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / November 5, 2010)
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Baltimore Circuit Judge Emanuel Brown postponed the trial, which centers on an Election Day 2010 robocall, until Feb. 23, when jury selection is expected to begin. Prosecutors believe Special Agent John C. Poliks will have recovered enough by then to participate in the trial.
Lawyers in the case finished a motions hearing on Tuesday, during which one of three conspiracy charges against Henson was dismissed because Brown deemed it repetitive.
Henson still faces two counts of conspiracy to violate election laws, one count of election fraud and one count of failing to include a campaign authority line on the call.
Henson, 62, is accused of using false information in an effort to suppress the black vote through an automated call that told voters in Baltimore and Prince George's County to "relax" and stay home. The call implied that Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, had already won his race against former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican.
Henson was working as a consultant to Ehrlich's campaign when the robocalls were made.
Ehrlich's campaign manager, Paul Schurick, was convicted in December of four counts in connection with the call. Schurick, who could receive up to 12 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.