By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal
OXFORD – Tupelo businessman Ray Shoemaker was granted at least a temporary reprieve from reporting to a federal prison today.
Late Wednesday, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick granted a halt to his surrender until certain issues are addressed.
Shoemaker’s attorneys asked the appeals court to allow him to remain free on bond until the New Orleans court looks at his recent convictions in a Batesville hospital kickback-bribery case.
Earlier Wednesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr., who presided over Shoemaker’s trial, denied his bond request.
Southwick’s order clarified that Shoemaker does not have to report to a Memphis prison until the 5th Circuit decides his appeal from Biggers’ denial.
Last March, a federal jury convicted Shoemaker and Batesville businessman Lee Garner in the case.
Biggers threw out all Garner’s convictions and some of Shoemaker’s, although he later sentenced Shoemaker to 55 months imprisonment on the remaining counts.