Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 6/17/2008 10:11:00 AM

Criminal Trial for Former Eaton Aerospace Employees is Delayed

By Todd
We reported on the Eaton Aerospace criminal trade secrets trial back in May: http://wombletradesecrets.blogspot.com/2008/05/eaton-aerospace-trade-secrets-criminal.html#links.

Now the ClarionLedger.com is reporting the scheduled trial of five former Eaton Aerospace employees accused of stealing trade secrets from the Jackson company for aerospace contracts has been delayed.

The trial had been scheduled in U.S. District Court in Jackson.But federal prosecutors’ appeal of a judge’s decision to dismiss seven of 12 federal charges delayed the start of the trial.

U.S. District Judge William Barbour Jr. said the trial will be delayed until the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rules on the appeal.

Eaton ex-employees Rodney Case, Kevin Clark, Mike Fulton, Douglas Murphy and James Ward were accused of stealing secrets from Eaton and taking them to Frisby Aerospace in Clemmons, N.C., where they started working in January 2002.

Frisby now is known as Triumph Actuation Systems.Eaton designs, tests and manufactures aerospace hydraulic fluid applications for commercial and military use.

In April, Barbour threw out the first five counts of the latest indictment, saying the charges were unconstitutionally vague. The charges were one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of theft of trade secrets and two counts of wire fraud.

He also threw out two counts involving theft of trade secrets, saying they were barred by the statute of limitations.

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