By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal
OXFORD – Tupelo businessman Ray Shoemaker goes to prison Thursday, notwithstanding some unforeseen legal maneuver.
Wednesday, his attorneys sought an emergency order to prevent his going, but Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. denied it late in the day.
Shoemaker is due to report to a federal facility in Memphis to begin serving a 55-month sentence after a jury convicted him in a hospital kickback-bribery case.
But he contends he is innocent and asked Biggers to grant him bail while the 5th Circuit considers his conviction appeal.
Last week, 5th Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick returned Shoemaker’s bail appeal to Biggers, asking him to address whether Shoemaker qualified for release pending the appeal.
When Biggers earlier denied Shoemaker’s bail request, he did not rule on those issues, Southwick wrote.
In his denial order, Biggers said that while Shoemaker did not pose a public threat or flight risk, “the appeal fails to raise a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal, an order for a new trial, or a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment.”