By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Wendell Blount’s attorney asked a federal judge Wednesday for more time to file an objection to a presentence report.
Blount, 59, of Calhoun County awaits sentencing after a jury convicted him in 2010 of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of morphine.
On April 22, 2009, his SUV struck and killed Dutch cyclist Esther Hageman as she rode south on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Chickasaw County to visit friends in Jackson.
The charges were prosecuted in federal court because the Trace is federal property.
Oxford attorney David Hill said Blount gave him a 14-page letter and five-page letter listing “numerous objections and comments” to the presentence report, which Hill said he will need time to review.
He asked to be given until Aug. 5.
Prior to a federal sentencing, the U.S. Probation Service investigates the defendant and prepares a report to assist the judge’s sentence decision.
Blount was indicted Oct. 8, 2009, in Hageman’s death and went on trial April 19, 2010, in Greenville.
But before he could be sentenced, he took off and evaded law enforcement about six months. He’s been held in the Lafayette County Detention Center since that arrest.
He’s also tried unsuccessfully to fire Hill, and as late as June, Hill asked to be allowed to withdraw.
Blount faces up to 33 years in prison and $500,000 in fines on the manslaughter conviction, plus he was on probation from a Texas drug conviction when the accident occurred.