Gillum, Lettman-Hicks to be tried together in fraud, conspiracy case

Federal judge denies requests to be tried separately
(Steve Cannon | AP)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:13 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A federal judge has ruled that former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and his campaign advisor Sharon Lettman-Hicks should be tried together on fraud and conspiracy charges.

Both had asked to be tried separately, but U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor denied that request Thursday.

“The general rule is that defendants who are jointly indicted should be tried together, and this rule applies with particular force to conspiracy cases,” Winsor wrote in his order. “Joint trials play a vital role in the criminal justice system. They promote efficiency and serve the interests of justice by avoiding the scandal and inequity of inconsistent verdicts.”

The judge has yet to rule on Gillum’s request to dismiss all the charges against him, citing “relentless” and “selective prosecution.”

Gillum’s defense attorney, David Oscar Markus, previously requested a hearing on “whether he was singled out, investigated, and prosecuted because he was a Black candidate for Governor, as appears to be the case.”

U.S. Attorney Jason Coody and fellow prosecutors refuted the allegations of selective prosecution in a series of filings before Thanksgiving, calling them “baseless” and “false.”

“The government sought and the grand jury returned the indictment against Defendant Gillum because there was evidence demonstrating that he had committed criminal violations and for no other reason,” Coody wrote in the government’s reply.

Gillum, who narrowly lost the 2018 election to current Governor Ron DeSantis, was indicted earlier this year and accused of conspiracy, fraud, and lying to the FBI. His campaign advisor and longtime friend Sharon Lettman-Hicks was also charged in the scheme.

A previously scheduled telephonic hearing is set for December 16th.