Retrial ordered in Tri-Lakes scheme

SHOEMAKER

SHOEMAKER

By JB Clark

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Two men convicted in 2011 for a kickback-bribery scheme at the Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville will have some of their charges retried.

U.S. District Court Judge Neal B. Biggers last week ordered a retrial of Lee Garner’s three counts of fraud and one count of bribery and two counts of fraud and one count of bribery against former Tupelo businessman Ray Shoemaker.

Biggers, in the memorandum opinion, said the retrial is necessary because the government didn’t make public the indictment of their star witness, Michael David Chandler, until the trial was essentially over.

Biggers said the defense didn’t have all possible information when cross-examining Chandler because the information was sealed during most of the trial.

The information withheld from the defense, Biggers said, could have been used for defense strategies or the impeachment of the government’s star witness.

“…the Court finds that the defendants are entitled to a new trial on the conspiracy charges on which Chandler was the primary witness, and to do otherwise would be a denial of due process of law to the defendants,” Biggers wrote in his opinion.

Shoemaker is currently serving a 55-month sentence on other counts arising from the same scheme.

Garner has not been given jail time.

jb.clark@journalinc.com