Shoemaker, Garner ask court to reconsider jury decisions

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Attorneys for businessmen Ray Shoemaker of Tupelo and Lee Garner of Batesville have asked the U.S. District Court to throw out their convictions or grant them a new trial.
A federal jury found the two men guilty March 2 in a kickback-bribery scheme alleged to have occurred while Shoemaker was a top executive with Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville. Garner owned a nurse staffing service on contract with the hospital.
Shoemaker’s motion insists a key government witness’ testimony against him was “insufficient” to prove Shoemaker conspired with anybody for kickbacks or bribes.
“The credible evidence does not support a finding that Shoemaker had the specific intent to enter a conspiracy,” the 26-page brief states.
Shoemaker also said $12,000 he received was a loan from the witness, former Panola County administrator David Chandler.
The fact that Shoemaker accepted checks from Chandler “is insufficient to show” that he intended to be influenced to boost the hospital’s business with Garner, the motion states.
“Shoemaker had no control over nursing services,” it noted.
His attorneys also say Shoemaker never intended to lie about payments from Chandler or a loan for the hospital.
In Garner’s motions, his attorney states that the verdict went against the weight of credible evidence and was not supported by law.
If the court will not vacate their convictions, they ask for a new trial.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com