Judge dismisses motions in John Ford corruption case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Judge dismisses motions in John Ford corruption case

A judge in Nashville on Thursday dismissed motions made by former state Sen. John Ford's attorney in advance of his upcoming federal corruption trial.

The judge's ruling cleared the way for Ford's trial to begin Monday with jury selection.

Ford, in federal custody, was taken to the Nashville courtroom by two guards, who drove him to court from his prison cell in Kentucky.

"He's being held now at the Grayson County Detention Center in Litchfield, Kentucky and the normal procedure is he'll be brought back and forth each night," public defender Isaiah Grant said.
 
It is a two hour trip one-way. Thursday morning in court, Ford was wearing his trademark gray suit, but appeared much older, grayer, and extremely tired.

"It's not the old John Ford that we know. That's for sure," court observer Chris Echegaray said.  
 
Echegaray, a writer for the Tennessean newspaper, squeezed into a courtroom packed with attorneys, students, and observers.

"We have a lot of representatives popping into the courtroom to see what's going on with the John Ford trial. There's a lot of interest statewide," Echegaray said.
 
Ford is charged with wire fraud and concealment charges related to $800,000 he earned consulting for TennCare contractors.
  
Monday, his public defender filed a motion citing misconduct among the prosecutors. He argued prosecutors tampered with a witness' testimony to a grand jury. The judge dismissed the motions saying there was a lack of evidence.
 
"It was a long shot at best to get a dismissal on prosecutorial misconduct without showing some intentional egregious act by the prosecution," Nashville attorney Jim Todd said.

Todd said Ford's public defender will put on a vigorous defense, but the issue of misconduct may come up again.

"There's a likelihood that it could reoccur and we might be in better position to establish some of those things that the judge believed we were lacking today," Ford's public defender Isaiah Grant said.

The courtroom was full of law students from Vanderbilt and fellow lawyers watching a case involving a high profile defendant who spent 31 years in the state senate.

Jury selection is set for Monday. Opening statements could begin Tuesday.


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