Testimony began this morning in the trial of a former candidate for the Kansas House who is accused of swerving his pickup truck toward two runners participating in a benefit for the Kansas Special Olympics last May.
Richard W. Rodewald, 58, Eudora, withdrew as a candidate for the 10th District House seat after he was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault.
A jury of seven women and five men was selected late Monday to hear the case. The trial is expected to last about two days.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol report, Rodewald drove up behind a group of officers who were participating in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and slowed for the runners. He then allegedly passed the vehicle that was trailing the runners and made a comment indicating the runners should get off the road or he would run them over.
According to the report he then "made two overt attempts to try to do that.''
Rodewald has denied he ever attempted to hit the runners and said that nothing would have happened had the trailing vehicle been properly marked.