Trial dates in federal court have again been reset for four people accused in a conspiracy involving charges of soring horses and money laundering.
U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice Jr. has ordered that Christen Altman, 25, of Shelbyville; Barney Davis, 38, and Jeffery Bradford, 33, both of Lewisburg; and Paul Blackburn, 35, of Shelbyville have their case heard by a 12-person jury on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Chattanooga.
This action follows a motion filed by Altman earlier this month in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee asking to declare the case against her as "complex litigation" and requesting a continuance in the matter.
Altman's attorney, Jerry H. Summers of Chattanooga, wrote that the government has been investigating the case for nearly a year with multiple agencies and that his client "cannot possibly be ready to present her defense without additional time for defense investigation in this case."
Mattice wrote in his order that "failure to grant such time would deny Defendant's attorney the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation ..."
The judge ordered that motions in the case be filed no later than Sept. 20, with any plea bargain due by Oct. 4. If no plea is made, then a final pretrial conference would be held on Oct. 11.
This is the third time the trial date in this case has been rescheduled. It was originally set for May 31, then changed to July 19. In June, the dates were changed again, with a plea in the case due by next Tuesday, and the trial set for Aug. 9.
Altman, Davis, and Bradford were indicted by a federal grand jury in March for allegedly soring horses and falsifying entry forms and other related paperwork.
A 34-count superseding indictment filed in late April charged Blackburn with being part of the conspiracy. Davis and Altman were charged with 13 counts of wire fraud, one count of wire fraud conspiracy and 12 counts of money laundering.