Friday, January 12, 2007

John Ford’s Trial Reset for April 9th

Posted by on Fri, Jan 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

The federal bribery trial of former state senator John Ford was reset Thursday for April 9th.

“This will be the last time,” said U.S. District Judge Daniel Breen. The case had been reset twice previously, most recently for February 5th. Ford’s attorney, Michael Scholl, said he needs more time to prepare because of the new indictment of his client that came out of the Nashville federal prosecutor’s office last month and the large number of documents and transcripts in the original case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza said the Ford trial is expected to last three or four weeks. It will be followed by the trial of two other Tennessee Waltz defendants later in 2007. Former senator Ward Crutchfield is scheduled to go to trial in Memphis in July, and former senator Kathryn Bowers is scheduled for September.

“I’ve never seen a case with this many recordings in it,” said Scholl. Many of them feature undercover operative Tim Willis secretly recording conversations with Ford.

Breen was less sympathetic toward Scholl’s arguments about pretrial publicity. The judge said “the publicity aspect is not going to go away.” Prosecutors said they would gladly move the trial to another jurisdiction in Arkansas or Mississippi, but Scholl, as expected, did not ask for a change of venue.

Ford’s next court date is in Nashville on January 29th on the charges there which are related to OmniCare and his consulting business.

There will be another hearing in Memphis before the April trial on Ford’s motion to keep his $40,000 Rolex watch from being introduced as evidence. He got the watch from developer Rusty Hyneman, according to a taped conversation. — John Branston

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