JT Burnette files to separate his case from Maddox and Carter-Smith

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 9, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- J.T. Burnette's attorneys have filed motions requesting the court separate his case from Scott Maddox and Paige Carter-Smith, and dismiss multiple counts against him.

Motion of Severence
Burnette's attorneys, Gregory Kehoe and Tim Jansen, filed a motion requesting the court separate the case of JT Burnette from his co-defendants, Scott Maddox and Paige Carter-Smith.

It requests that if the court chooses to hold one trial, Burnette would have a separate, second jury.

The motion argues that when Maddox and Carter-Smith were indicted in December of 2018, they waived their right to a speedy trial, agreeing to a November 2019 date. When Burnette was indicted in May of 2019, he did not waive his right to a speedy trial. His trial was set for June, but the government filed to try all three together.

The motion also states that because Burnette is only being charged related to Company F, the superseding indictment contradicts itself.

The indictment states that Maddox, Carter-Smith, and Burnette were involved in a conspiracy beginning in February 2010. However, the indictment also states that Burnette was solely involved with Company F, which was only formed in July 2016.

The motion argues that therefore, he was not involved in a conspiracy dating back to 2010, and his case should be separated.

The motion describes the superseding indictment as "duplicitous," arguing it "charges these two distinct enterprises and two separate conspiracies as one offense."

It also argues that the superseding indictment does not prove that Burnette knew the Maddox defendants in 2010.

Motion to dismiss

The motion to dismiss certain counts of the superseding indictment alleges that all charges against Burnette relate to his purported interactions with "Company F."

Those charges include: participating in the RICO conspiracy, extortion, honest services mail fraud, using facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to facilitate bribery, and making false statements to federal officers.

The motion requests that the court dismiss Count One, racketeering conspiracy, against Burnette, saying the allegations do not support the government's claim that the enterprise consisted of Burnette as a member in 2010.

The motion also requests that the court dismiss Count Forty, false statements, alleging the statements Burnette made were not material, and the questions were fundamentally ambiguous.

It argues that the government already knew the answers to questions at the time of asking them.

The motion requests that the court dismiss Counts Twenty-Three through Twenty-Six (honest services mail fraud).

It writes, "a gift of money given with the unstated and vague hope that services will be rendered in exchange is not sufficient to be considered a bribe under the statute."

The motion also requests the court dismiss Count Fourteen (extortion under color of official right), because "the government has failed to sufficiently allege a quid pro quo with company f." It writes that the government has failed to allege an "official action."

Lastly, the motion requests that the court dismiss Counts Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven against Burnette, because the superseding indictment does not "sufficiently allege bribery under Florida law."

By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The latest filing by J.T. Burnette requests more information about unnamed persons and companies in his case.

Burnette was indicted as part of the FBI probe into the City of Tallahassee in early May.

The most recent July 8 filing is a motion for a bill of particulars.

It argues that the superseding indictment of Burnette is "deficient," due to to its references to unnamed co-conspirators, companies, and persons.

Some are identified by a letter, or entirely unknown; Burnette argues that he is unable to prepare his defense, because the witnesses are known to the Government, or not to him.

Burnette requests that the government be ordered to identify the known co-conspirators or members who are expected to be called as witnesses, and that the Government identify the persons and companies by more than a letter.

The argument cites the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7, as well as the cases of United States v. Anderson, United States v. Draine, and Will v. United States.

Burnette's filing argues that he will not be able to effectively prepare to cross-examine witnesses without knowing their identities beforehand.

The U.S. attorneys have not yet filed a response to this motion, and the judge has not yet ruled.

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