Experts testify in defense contractor Keith Shaw's trial


by Adam Walser

Posted on February 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 2 at 9:51 PM


(WHAS11) - Keith Shaw is charged with making unauthorized modifications to military aircraft parts and trying to kill his former business associates who were cooperating with military investigators.

While the plot described in Shaw’s indictment reads like spy novel, the testimony Tuesday was more like hearing a technical manual read aloud.

The prosecution hopes to convince the jury that Keith Shaw put soldiers and sailors lives at risk by cutting corners.

Shaw's attorney hopes to prove that Shaw was helping keep aircraft from being grounded for long periods of time.

The allegations against Keith Shaw are simple; the government says Shaw didn't play by the book when making repairs to military aircraft, especially when he allegedly disabled warning systems on gyroscopic navigation devices.

But in court, a conference call was played from 2006 in which Shaw informs his customer, Sykorsky Aviation, and the Navy, that warning lights installed by the Swiss military were giving false readings and that cutting pins to stop false warnings would not put service people in danger.

The trial is expected to last two weeks and include other testimony that Shaw plotted to kill his two former business partners after they cooperated with military investigators.

More than 7,000 documents, including invoices, product manuals and military regulations have been entered into evidence.

Shaw's attorney, Thomas Clay, says his client did nothing wrong and hopes to soon get these charges behind him.

It's unclear whether or not Shaw will take the stand in his own defense, but he could be seen Tuesday consulting with his attorneys about the technical aspects of the testimony.

Shaw's business was shut down and declared bankruptcy within a few months of his arrest.