Martha Stewart Back in Court - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/18/03 - New York

Martha Stewart Back in Court

Martha Stewart is back in federal court to watch her lawyers try to whittle down the indictment against her.

The home decorating maven breezed through security at the New York courthouse today and chatted with aides inside.

Today's hearing comes eight weeks before Stewart goes on trial for her alleged role in an insider-trading scandal. She's accused of conspiracy, obstructing justice, securities fraud and two counts of lying to investigators. The charges stem from her 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock just a day before a negative government report sent shares tumbling.

The securities fraud count accuses Stewart of deceiving shareholders in her own company by publicly declaring her innocence. Her lawyers say the charge is unconstitutional. They also want the obstruction of justice count dismissed -- saying none of Stewart's statements could have hindered the investigation into her stock sale.

The charges together carry a potential prison term of 30 years. Stewart would likely get far less if convicted though, under federal sentencing guidelines.

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