By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
ABERDEEN – New attorneys for William T. “Tommy” Tacker II of Okolona have asked the U.S. District Court to reconsider his fraud conviction.
They say “ineffective assistance” by different lawyers before, during and after his February trial should be examined by Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson.
A federal jury convicted Tacker on 10 counts that he conspired and defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture out of $2.8 million in biofuels subsidies.
Davidson sentenced him to five years in prison and ordered payment of restitution to the USDA.
Tacker’s appeal attorneys are former Mississippi Supreme Court justices Oliver E. Diaz and Chuck McRae, with David N. McCarty, all of Jackson.
His trial attorneys were Chip Davis and Rhett Wise of Tupelo.
Tacker’s latest appeal to Davidson says that Davis and Wise “failed to call witnesses on his behalf, failed to fully investigate and prepare a defense, failed to make objections pre-trial and during trial, and failed to advise” him of his rights.
They also ask for more time to look into other possible errors.
On Aug. 5, Davidson denied Davis and Wise’s motions for a new trial and to rule for an acquittal over the jury’s decision.
Tacker and partner H. Max Speight of Tennessee were partners in a Nettleton biodiesel refinery that went bankrupt in 2006. Tacker claims he is innocent and that Speight stole the money.
Speight is set to be sentenced Sept. 2 for his guilty plea to one count in the fraud.
Tacker has not yet been assigned a prison to serve his term.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or email@example.com.