The judge in the McMartin Pre-School molestation case said today that he may have to declare a mistrial in the case of Raymond Buckey because of a prosecution witness' perjury.
"Lying under oath goes to the heart of the believability of a witness," Superior Court Judge William Pounders said of an admission by a jail-house informant that he lied in another case. "If he has taken an oath before and lied, it would go to the heart of the matter here." The issue arose when prosecutors said the witness, George Freeman, would invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify about his admitted perjury in the other case.
The judge asked if the district attorney's office would seek to grant Freeman immunity from prosecution to compel his testimony. When Deputy Dist. Atty. Roger Gunson indicated a reluctance to do so, Pounders suggested one alternative was a mistrial.