Schweiger pleads guilty to perjury, sentenced to 10 years in prison

Gerard T. Schweiger 2015 by .

Gerard T. Schweiger

DOVER — The long-running case of the 2013 death of a Leipsic waterman continued Wednesday when a man found not guilty of his murder pleaded guilty to perjury and immediately was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

While Gerard T. “Gerry” Schweiger, of Dover, was cleared of murder by a jury on Aug. 29, 2014, he later was indicted for allegedly bribing a witness to provide false testimony at the proceeding.

In Kent County Superior Court, Schweiger pleaded guilty to first-degree perjury and second-degree conspiracy, both felonies, regarding the trial of Tony Mozick Sr.’s death at his Leipsic home on Jan. 5, 2013. A second first-degree perjury charge was not further prosecuted.

Wearing a Department of Correction uniform, accompanied by two guards and shackled at the ankles, Schweiger twice told Judge Robert B. Young that he wasn’t happy about the 10-year sentence, but understood and accepted the plea agreement that he had signed.

“Again, I’m not thrilled about the 10 years, but I signed,” Schweiger said the second time when acknowledging a decade of prison time.

Schweiger mostly answered “Yes, sir” to Judge Young, along with an occasional “Absolutely”, “Yes” and “Yes, I do.”

Schweiger received the maximum sentence allowed for the charges, and Judge Young referenced the severe ramifications of the offense involved.

Schweiger also was ordered to pay the cost of prosecution, and will be subject to community supervision and probation when released.

Speaking to Judge Young, defense attorney Eugene Maurer described the evidence as “overwhelming.” He had met several times with Mr. Schweiger, he said, including Tuesday in New Castle County.

Afterward, Deputy Attorney General Brian Robertson said the maximum sentence was warranted, and made no assumptions on how the perjury and conspiracy affected the murder trial against Schweiger. He said perjury sentencing could be as light as probation, but the results of this offense were potentially severe.

“Any idea of what was in the jury’s mind was pure conjecture,” he said. “Not knowing that is no reason to give (Schweiger) the benefit of the doubt.”

On July 30, 2015, co-defendant Phillip M. Wright, of Harrington, pleaded guilty to first-degree perjury and second-degree conspiracy in Superior Court regarding his time on the witness stand at the trial. He has not been sentenced and is currently held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown.

At the 2014 murder trial, Wright testified he had never met Schweiger before a chance meeting at a Dover bus stop shortly before Mr. Mozick’s death. When announcing the arrest, police claimed Schweiger had promised him food from the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center commissary near Smyrna in exchange for his testimony, and no bus stop meeting had occurred.

As the murder trial concluded, Schweiger was convicted of abusing a corpse, breach of release, tampering with physical evidence, hindering prosecution and second-degree conspiracy.

After Schweiger was released from prison in September 2014, investigation began and included a recorded telephone conversation with an undisclosed person in which he allegedly admitted to killing Mr. Mozick, falsely testifying at trial and bribing Wright to testify to establish a false alibi, according to the Delaware State Police.

Both men were 26 years old when arrested on perjury and conspiracy charges, Schweiger on March 31, 2015, and Wright a day later on April 1.

In court Wednesday, attorney Maurer said he had explained Delaware’s one-party consent law to Schweiger regarding recorded phone conversations, which had been raised as a suppression issue in earlier stages of the case.

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