Jury Gets Rowan Weapons Case, Then Recesses
A jury deliberating the weapons charges case against syndicated columnist Carl T. Rowan recessed for the night Wednesday after discussing the matter for three hours without reaching a verdict.
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Arthur L. Burnett Sr. sent the jurors home and ordered them to avoid reading about or listening to broadcast accounts of the trial.
Rowan, 63, an outspoken opponent of gun ownership, has been charged with using an unregistered pistol and ammunition to shoot a youth who took an unauthorized dip in his pool. If convicted of both misdemeanor offenses, he could face up to two years in prison.
“They came in here to prosecute a celebrity,” Rowan’s attorney, Raoul Carroll, said at the close of a two-day trial. “They aren’t interested in the truth.”
Testimony on Son
Carroll argued also that district police had told Rowan’s son, Carl Jr., a former FBI agent, that he did not have to register the weapon his father later used against the teen-age intruder.
Rowan testified that his son gave him the .22-caliber pistol in 1982, after he had received death threats from people purporting to be members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Thomas C. Collier, the city attorney, argued that the case was “very simple.”
“We are here simply because the handgun is not registered,” Collier said. “The death threats, the shooting and the issue of trespassing have nothing to do with this case.”