Attorneys for the owners of a Lawrence secondhand store, who face multiple federal charges, are asking a judge to dismiss a recent obstruction case filed against the couple.
Guy and Carrie Neighbors, owners of the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass., were arrested on warrants last week after prosecutors alleged the couple concealed a record from police, who were investigating a computer stolen from Kansas University's School of Journalism that showed up on eBay.
In a motion filed Friday, defense attorneys argued that the obstruction case involved a state investigation and should not have been filed in federal court. The attorneys also said the couple were not accused of stealing the computer but of buying it from someone else and selling it.
But in a response motion, Terra Morehead, an assistant U.S. attorney, argues that the Neighborses should have known a federal investigation was ongoing because it involved the Internet auction Web site eBay.
Prosecutors have filed 19 charges, mostly for fraud, against the couple accusing them of selling stolen goods on the Internet.
Federal prosecutors this week also asked a judge to keep the defendants in jail until their trials. The couple had reached an earlier agreement with prosecutors not to discuss the case publicly after they had made several blog posts alleging corruption by Lawrence police and prosecutors.
Prosecutors argued the posts were trying to discourage witnesses from testifying.
Prosecutors said the agreement was broken because of the new obstruction charges and an e-mail the couple's son sent last weekend to several media members and elected officials criticizing police with untrue accusations.
In a motion filed, Marietta Parker, an assistant U.S. attorney, wrote that in a phone conversation from the Douglas County Jail last weekend, Guy Neighbors admitted he encouraged his son to contact the media about the latest arrest.
For nearly three years, the couple have denied allegations they've knowingly sold stolen goods. They also face federal drug charges in a separate case. Their trials are scheduled to begin in 2009. They remained in federal custody Friday because of the obstruction charges.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday.