May 7, 2015

Monroeville Resident Arrested on Federal Jury Tampering Charge

United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announces that Jonathan Lawrence Oneal, 42, of Monroeville, Alabama was arrested today by federal authorities for jury tampering. According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Oneal was arrested for corruptly seeking to influence a prospective juror in connection with a federal criminal trial of John Hastie in Mobile, Alabama. According to the complaint’s affidavit, Oneal is a Cooper Marine & Timberlands employee who works under John Hastie, the spouse of defendant Kimberly Hastie and a co-defendant in a trial in which the couple is charged with conspiring to commit tax fraud. The affidavit alleges that Oneal, acting at John Hastie’s direction, reached out to the wife of a prospective juror before and during jury selection and conveyed messages to her for the purpose of influencing her husband’s views regarding the Hastie case. Jury tampering is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and carries a term of up to 10 years in prison.

United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown states: “The public has a vital interest in preserving the integrity of the judicial process. Jury tampering is a serious threat to the proper functioning of our justice system. The United States will work closely with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue all jury tampering allegations and ensure that those involved are held accountable.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean P. Costello.

A criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he or she is proven guilty at trial.

If any member of the public has information regarding any acts of jury tampering, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mobile Division, at 251-438-3674.