Federal Trial

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Federal trial gets bumped ‘til June

By Billy Davis

The coming federal criminal trial for Ray Shoemaker and Lee Garner has been postponed seven weeks to allow more time for defense lawyers to prepare.

The trial, originally set for Monday, May 9, was moved to Monday, June 27 in Courtroom 3 West at the federal courthouse in Oxford.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Shoemaker, 38, and Garner, 66, have entered not guilty pleas to a 10-count federal indictment alleging a kickback scheme at Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Shoemaker also faces separate fraud charges for business dealings at a Humphreys County hospital.

A federal grand jury handed down the indictment February 24 in Oxford, home of the U.S. District Court of North Mississippi.

Federal prosecutors did not object to the postponement request made by defense attorney Steve Farese of Ashland, according to court documents filed last week.

Farese is representing Shoemaker.

A response from federal prosecutors states that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has accumulated more than 50,000 pages of documents related to the investigation.

Shoemaker faces up to 80 years in prison, and $2.5 million in fines, if convicted of conspiracy, embezzlement and fraud charges, according to federal prosecutors.

Garner faces up to 25 years in prison, and $1 million in fines, if convicted of conspiracy and fraud.

Federal prosecutors have alleged David Chandler, the former county administrator, acted as a middleman for the kickbacks. Chandler has not been indicted.

A federal prosecutor has said other charges are expected in the investigation.