Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

May 7, 2014

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS: Date changed for Eaton hearing

GLASGOW — The attorney for former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton has been granted a request to reschedule the oral arguments in Eaton’s appeal of a federal criminal conviction on two counts of witness tampering.

Eaton was accused of violating Billy Randall Stinnett’s rights by beating Stinnett during his arrest in Glasgow in 2010 and then attempting to conceal what happened. A federal jury acquitted Eaton last year of any charges relating to the alleged physical attack.

Eaton was sentenced in August to 18 months in prison, but he was allowed to remain free pending appeal. Oral arguments are now scheduled for 9 a.m. June 19 at the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Initially, a letter filed April 25 by a calendar deputy for the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals informed Eaton’s attorney, J. Guthrie True, and Erin H. Flynn, a U.S. Department of Justice attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Appellate Section, indicated the oral arguments were scheduled for June 20.

But True filed a request on April 29 to change the date because he had a scheduling conflict. True said in the document he has been committed “for many months” to serve as a speaker at the Kentucky Bar Association’s annual convention at 8:30 a.m. June 20, the same time he was supposed to report for the oral argument.

True had learned the court will have a panel session the morning of June 19 as well, and he suggested that date instead of June 20. A new letter filed Friday from a different scheduling clerk says the argument has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. June 19.

“You should be aware that in preparing for the case the panel may conclude that, although the matter has been scheduled for oral argument, it will not be necessary to go forward with the argument,” the clerk’s letter says.

In that event, the panel will decide the case using appeal briefs filed by the attorneys along with the case record, it says.

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