PARRIS TOWERS: Sniper still on loose, still firing Brian Chilson

The U.S. attorney’s office today released news of an indictment of a Pulaski County Jail inmate for assaulting a witness in the trial of Dr. Randeep Mann, convicted yesterday of plotting the bombing of a state Medical Board official who’d ruled against him in a disciplinary matter. The news release said the assault was intended to discourage the victim from testifying.

One of the government’s witnesses, Steven Briscoe, was a jail inmate who testified that Mann offered him money to “finish the job” on Trent Pierce, the Medical Board chair, who was injured but not killed by a bomb explosion at his West Memphis house. Mann was also held in the county jail.

U.S. Attorney Jane Duke, who confirmed that Briscoe was target of the attack, said news of the indictment was withheld until after the trial so that no one could argue that it had influenced the verdict. The indictment is brief and offers no information about what, or who, might have prompted the man charged to attempt to influence Briscoe not to testify.