JEREMY HUTCHINSON: New trial date set

As expected, a federal magistrate in Missouri has delayed the trial of former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and others on public corruption charges because of the complexity of the case.

Hutchinson was indicted last month along with former top officers of a multistate health services provider that received millions in Medicaid and other government reimbursements. He’s accused of taking bribes to influence legislative action.

The case was routinely set for trial June 10, to comply with speedy trial rules. But the defendants wanted a delay because “discovery is voluminous and the indictment includes thirty-four counts, which create a complex array of allegations with complicated issues to research and investigate.” Magistrate David Rush said the ends of justice would be served by granting a delay and set the trial in Springfield, Mo., for April 5, 2021.

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The Court also finds that the case is so unusual or so complex due to the nature of the prosecution and the potential for novel questions of fact or law, that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits established by the Speedy Trial Act.

Other defendants are Bontiea and Tom Goss, formerly top officers of Preferred Family Healthcare. It and other former employees and contractors and former Arkansas legislators were already implicated in a broad array of criminal activities.

Hutchinson faces separate federal charges in Little Rock of using campaign money for personal expenses and avoiding income tax on the money. That case is set for trial July 8.